Binary MEMS Sensors

Our group develops MEMS and NEMS inertial sensing techniques and exploits them to design binary bifurcation-based mass, gas, and chemical sensors.

Our sensors produce an OFF signal when the deposited mass, gas concentration in air, or analyte concentration in liquid, is below a threshold and an ON signal when they exceed that threshold. Our sensors are particularly well suited for safety and environmental monitoring applications to assure regulatory compliance and detect the rise of the concentration of a noxious gas in air or pollutant in water above safe levels.

Binary gas sensor

A binary gas sensor under microscope

We have designed and fabricated using UW-MEMS and Poly-MUMPS fabrication processes several generations of our binary sensors.

The sensors are post-processed using an in-house process and a micro-plotter to functionalization them with detector polymers. They are also tested in house using our own drive and detection circuits, test chambers, and a high frequency vibrometer. Recently, we demonstrated the binary gas sensors with a sensitivity of 5 ppm of ethanol in dry nitrogen.

Experimental setup

Experimental setup, gas sensor located under vibrometer lens