MSc thesis project proposal

Graphene-based gas sensor with integrated microheater

Monitoring of gas-phase chemicals by means of portable instruments has been traditionally important in numerous scenarios, including industrial and home air quality, environmental surveillance, process monitoring, defence, food industry among others. Independently of the context, the next generation of gas sensors requires accurate and fast time responses, gas selectivity, miniature sizes, and low power consumptions.

Graphene as sensing unit is a very attractive platform owing to their sensitive chemical‐to‐electrical transducer capabilities, chemical stability, compatibility with a further device miniaturization, and their outstanding surface-to-volume ratio providing the largest sensing area per unit volume.

Nevertheless, there are still several drawbacks that need to be overcome for launching the graphene-based gas-sensors towards a further phase. Graphene is a victim of his own success because of their unique structure. For instance, their chemical stability only provides selectivity in terms of electron donors or acceptor gases and recovery problems are associated with an excessively slow rate of desorption of the reactive gases.

The present project aims to solve the selectivity and recovery issue integrating a micro-hotplate in the graphene-based chemi-resistive layout. The micro-heater is expected to promote the removal of the adsorbed molecules. Additionally, the integrated micro-heater will enable to modulate the graphene temperature, therefore, under gas exposure, a unique signature for each gas can be extracted due to different rates of reactions that take place during the adsorption/desorption processes.

Assignment

The student assignment will be an internship/graduation project with a total duration of 9 to 12 months. The project will deploy:
  • Fabrication in the EKL cleanroom, including the optimization and realization of the steps for the fabrication of the device.
  • Characterisation morphological and structural characterization of the graphene film.
  • The electrical and thermal characterisation of the device under an inert atmosphere and exposed under different gas species.

Requirements

Motivation and ambition to work in an interdisciplinary topic.

Contact

dr. Leandro Nicolas Sacco

Electronic Components, Technology and Materials Group

Department of Microelectronics

Last modified: 2019-06-25