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Cambridge, United Kingdom

Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.2 | Award Amount: 4.29M | Year: 2011

SOI-HITS is an ambitious, innovative and timely STREP project that will enable significant energy consumption savings and reduce waste in processes such as: combustion in domestic boilers; oil & gas storage and transportation; CO2 capture and sequestration. It aims to deliver at least 15% saving of energy consumption in domestic boiler industry (~40 million domestic boilers in the EU with a growth rate of 15% per year); equating to 3.6 billion Euros saved per year. For this ambitious goal, SOI-HITS will develop innovative CMOS-compatible, Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) integrated smart microsensor systems, capable of multi-measurand (water vapour, temperature, gas, flow, UV/IR) detection under harsh environment conditions (to 225oC, high water vapour level). SOI technology has several advantages over bulk silicon: enhanced electro-thermal isolation giving lower power consumption, ease of forming arrays of MEMS membranes, option of tungsten as a high temperature CMOS metal, direct integration of high-performance temperature and UV optical solid-state sensors. The smart multisensor chip will comprise multiple micro-hotplates with tungsten micro-heaters onto which selective nanostructured and thin film metal oxide sensing layers have been deposited. For the gas sensors (CO2 (concentration 6-10%, CO (0-1000ppm), and H2S (0-100ppm)), we will achieve fast thermal response time of a few ms and loss per micro-hotplate below 0.2mW/oC. Water vapour sensors, flow sensors (for liquid & gas) and precision on-chip temperature controllers will be also integrated. On-chip processing electronics, including drive circuitry, filters, amplifiers, processing circuits and analogue to digital interfaces, operating at 225oC, will be developed. The extension of the SOI platform to optical detectors, such as UV photodiode flame detectors and IR combined sources/detectors, will be explored. Finally development of a High Temperature SIP (system in a package) will enable real-world demonstrators.


Grant
Agency: GTR | Branch: Innovate UK | Program: | Phase: Regional Development Agency | Award Amount: 72.00K | Year: 2011

Cambridge CMOS Sensors (CCS) has identified a clear gap in the market of NDIRs and aims to address the issues described above by using a lower cost, higher reliability proprietary technology. Thus, CCS has invented and developed a technology that could replace the bulky, expensive and power-hungry IR sources with significantly lower power miniature micro-hotplates (MHPs) that have the ability of reaching extreme temperatures (in excess of 700°C). The MHPs are made using the standard microelectronics technology, the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) with a single Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) step to form thin dielectric membranes with embedded micro-heaters. The entire process is done at a high volume commercial silicon foundry allowing very low cost and high volume manufacturing. The CMOS MHP technology from CCS is unique and protected by 3 international patents. One more patent application has been filed and one further application is currently with our patent attorneys. CMOS Circuits _s..~r---Oxide membrane Backside ORIE/ Silicon MHP@ sooc Cross-sectional view ot·patented MHP technology Figure 2: MEMS Low Power IR Source The exceptional high temperature and low cost capability of our MHPs makes this technology very attractive for NDIR gas sensing applications. Figure 2, shows schematically the structure and scale of our MHPs together with a photo showing the CCS MHP emitting in IR and visible domain at 800 oc. The diameter of the MHP heater is only 200 microns. CCS has performed reliability and stability tests on the MHPs and have proved that they operate reliably at 600 oc (for over 2 Million pulses with 2000h in an accelerated test). Unlike, the conventional IR bulbs with tungsten wires as IR filaments, our heaters feature thin film, CMOS based Tungstenrritanium layers embedded in a thin silicon dioxide to prevent the metal oxidation and avoid possible explosion, (a common safety issue with current NDIR operating at very high temperatures).


Patent
Cambridge CMOS Sensors | Date: 2012-05-08

An IR source in the form of a micro-hotplate device including a CMOS metal layer made of at least one layer of embedded on a dielectric membrane supported by a silicon substrate. The device is formed in a CMOS process followed by a back etching step. The IR source also can be in the form of an array of small membranesclosely packed as a result of the use of the deep reactive ion etching technique and having better mechanical stability due to the small size of each membrane while maintaining the same total IR emission level. SOI technology can be used to allow high ambient temperature and allow the integration of a temperature sensor, preferably in the form of a diode or a bipolar transistor right below the IR source.


Grant
Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-25-2015 | Award Amount: 2.19M | Year: 2016

Nanonets2Sense proposes a new technological approach, where random networks of nanowires, called nanonets (NN), allow biosensors for medical applications to be integrated at low cost with a 3D integration scheme. The final objective of the project is to demonstrate 3D above-IC integration of nanonet-based sensing devices on a CMOS platform. By using nanonets as sensing material, our synergetic approach retains the advantages of nanowires (NW) properties without the associated technological burden. With a smart combination of bottom-up and top-down technologies and a low processing temperature (<400C) compatible with CMOS integration, it allows 3D integration into a compact sensor, where the sensing element, which is exposed to breath or biofluids, is integrated above the CMOS detection circuit, which is naturally protected. Nanonets2Sense will address all material, device and circuit issues. It will develop the integration process that allows the 3D above-IC integration of NN-based sensing devices on a CMOS platform, optimize sensor performance by engineering nanonet properties and device dimensions, analyse NN-based devices operation and performance and optimize readout accordingly, demonstrate the viability of the integration approach by fabricating a proof-of-concept integrated sensor that realizes 3D SoC integration of a NN-based sensing device with its CMOS read-out. Nanonets2Sense is thus providing a new technological building block to enhance CMOS chip functionality with biosensing capability. It combines high performance at low cost and the impact is enhanced by the fact that the approach is generic and can be adapted to a large variety of NW and target molecules. Nanonets2Sense relies on well recognized European partners, including academic, SME and large company, which represent the whole chain from basic and applied research to foundry and products development, ensuring that exploitation will combine sounded physical concepts with industrial vision.


Patent
Cambridge CMOS Sensors | Date: 2014-06-10

An infra-red (IR) device comprising a dielectric membrane formed on a silicon substrate comprising an etched portion; and at least one patterned layer formed within or on the dielectric membrane for controlling IR emission or IR absorption of the IR device, wherein the at least one patterned layer comprises laterally spaced structures.

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