Microsystem Technologies

, Volume 20, Issue 4, pp 971–988

Component design and testing for a miniaturised autonomous sensor based on a nanowire materials platform

  • Giorgos Fagas
  • Michael Nolan
  • Yordan M. Georgiev
  • Ran Yu
  • Olan Lotty
  • Nikolay Petkov
  • Justin D. Holmes
  • Guobin Jia
  • Björn Eisenhawer
  • Annett Gawlik
  • Fritz Falk
  • Naser Khosropour
  • Elizabeth Buitrago
  • Montserrat Fernández-Bolaños Badia
  • Francois Krummenacher
  • Adrian M. Ionescu
  • Maher Kayal
  • Adrian M. Nightingale
  • John C. de Mello
  • Erik Puik
  • Franc van der Bent
  • Rik Lafeber
  • Rajesh Ramaneti
  • Hien Duy Tong
  • Cees van Rijn
Technical Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00542-014-2100-4

Cite this article as:
Fagas, G., Nolan, M., Georgiev, Y.M. et al. Microsyst Technol (2014) 20: 971. doi:10.1007/s00542-014-2100-4

Abstract

We present the design considerations of an autonomous wireless sensor and discuss the fabrication and testing of the various components including the energy harvester, the active sensing devices and the power management and sensor interface circuits. A common materials platform, namely, nanowires, enables us to fabricate state-of-the-art components at reduced volume and show chemical sensing within the available energy budget. We demonstrate a photovoltaic mini-module made of silicon nanowire solar cells, each of 0.5 mm2 area, which delivers a power of 260 μW and an open circuit voltage of 2 V at one sun illumination. Using nanowire platforms two sensing applications are presented. Combining functionalised suspended Si nanowires with a novel microfluidic fluid delivery system, fully integrated microfluidic–sensor devices are examined as sensors for streptavidin and pH, whereas, using a microchip modified with Pd nanowires provides a power efficient and fast early hydrogen gas detection method. Finally, an ultra-low power, efficient solar energy harvesting and sensing microsystem augmented with a 6 mAh rechargeable battery allows for less than 20 μW power consumption and 425 h sensor operation even without energy harvesting.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giorgos Fagas
    • 1
  • Michael Nolan
    • 1
  • Yordan M. Georgiev
    • 1
  • Ran Yu
    • 1
  • Olan Lotty
    • 1
  • Nikolay Petkov
    • 1
  • Justin D. Holmes
    • 1
  • Guobin Jia
    • 2
  • Björn Eisenhawer
    • 2
  • Annett Gawlik
    • 2
  • Fritz Falk
    • 2
  • Naser Khosropour
    • 3
  • Elizabeth Buitrago
    • 3
  • Montserrat Fernández-Bolaños Badia
    • 3
  • Francois Krummenacher
    • 3
  • Adrian M. Ionescu
    • 3
  • Maher Kayal
    • 3
  • Adrian M. Nightingale
    • 4
  • John C. de Mello
    • 4
  • Erik Puik
    • 5
  • Franc van der Bent
    • 5
  • Rik Lafeber
    • 5
  • Rajesh Ramaneti
    • 5
  • Hien Duy Tong
    • 5
  • Cees van Rijn
    • 5
  1. 1.Tyndall National InstituteUniversity College CorkCorkIreland
  2. 2.Institute of Photonic TechnologyJenaGermany
  3. 3.Ecole Polytechnique Federal LausanneLausanneSwitzerland
  4. 4.Imperial College LondonLondonUK
  5. 5.Nanosens BVZutphenThe Netherlands