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13 August 2004 Miniature photoacoustic chemical sensor using microelectromechanical structures
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Photoacoustic spectroscopy is a useful monitoring technique that is well suited for trace gas detection. The technique also possesses favorable detection characteristics when the system dimensions are scaled to a micro-system design. The objective of present work is to incorporate two strengths of the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and chemical and biological sensing into a monolithic MEMS photoacoustic trace gas sensor. A miniaturized macro-cell design was studied as a means to examine performance and design issues as the photoacoustics is scaled to a dimension approaching the MEMS level. Performance of the macro-cell was tested using standard organo-phosphate nerve gas simulants, Dimethyl methyl phosphonate (DMMP) and Diisoprpyl methyl phosphonate (DIMP). Current MEMS work centered on fabrication of a multi-layer cell subsystem to be incorporated in the full photoacoustic device. Preliminary results were very positive for the macro-cell sensitivity (ppb levels) and specificity indicating that the scaled cell maintains sensitivity. Several bonding schemes for a three-dimension MEMS photoacoustic cavity were investigated with initial results of a low temperature AuSn bond proving most feasible.
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Paul M. Pellegrino, Ronald G. Polcawich, and Samara L. Firebaugh "Miniature photoacoustic chemical sensor using microelectromechanical structures", Proc. SPIE 5416, Chemical and Biological Sensing V, (13 August 2004);

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