Microsystem Technologies

, Volume 22, Issue 7, pp 1855–1863 | Cite as

MEMS based metal oxide sensor for simultaneous measurement of gas induced changes of the heating power and the sensing resistance

  • B. Bierer
  • J. Kneer
  • J. Wöllenstein
  • S. PalzerEmail author
Technical Paper


Metal oxide based gas sensors are usually read-out by measuring the overall resistivity of the gas sensitive layer. However, the reaction of the gas species with the metal oxide surface does not only change the electrical conductivity but also effects the required heating power to maintain the layer’s temperature. This change in power consumption may be disregarded when using standard bulk sensor chips due to their overall high thermal mass. Nevertheless, micromachined Si based hotplate devices offer the possibility to measure these effects. Here we present results that have been obtained by using a novel hotplate platform optimized for low power consumption and inkjet printing of nano sized gas sensitive metal oxide particles. The temperature of the gas sensitive layer is controlled via the heater resistance and the power consumption is recorded with a fully automated gas measurement system. To separate changes in the heat conductivity of the gas matrix from the heat of the surface reaction, the measurements have been performed in parallel using hotplates with and without a metal oxide layer deposited onto them. Here layers composed of copper (II) oxide have been used to highlight the possibilities of the novel approach. Determining both, the gas dependent resistivity as well as heating power yields two independent sensing quantities from one single device and might be an important cornerstone on the way towards selective metal oxide based gas sensors.


Power Consumption Heating Power Sensor Chip Heat Capacity Change Metal Oxide Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was supported by a Grant from the German Federal ministry of Science and Education (BMBF) under Grant Number 16SV5943 (SensOdor). B.B. acknowledges funding by the graduate school “decentralized, sustainable energy systems (DENE)”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Bierer
    • 1
  • J. Kneer
    • 1
  • J. Wöllenstein
    • 1
  • S. Palzer
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory for Gas Sensors, Department of Microsystems EngineeringUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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