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Proceedings of the 3rd IEEE Int. Conf.

on Nano/Micro Engineered and Molecular Systems January 6-9, 2008, Sanya, China

Thermal Analysis And Design of a Micro-Hotplate for Sisubstrated Micro-structural Gas Sensor
Chunmin Tao1 , Chenbo yin1 , Maoxian He1 , Shandong Tu2
2

School of mechanical and power engineering, Nanjing University of Technology, China School of mechanical and power engineering st China University of Science and Technology, China provides the estimation of heating efficiency and temperature distribution on the hotplate. The analysis is applied to a newly proposed micro-hotplate structure during the layout design. In this paper, we present the simulation of electro-thermal characteristics and modeling of intrinsic. We have used ANSYS for the finite element analysis to control power consumption and theoretical calculations for the proper selection of the membrane and heater materials. II. SIMULATIONS AND MODELLING

AbstractThere is considerable interest in decreasing the power consumption of available semiconductor metal oxide gas sensors. The Low-voltage and low-power consumption metal oxide gas sensors can be easily produced by combining micromachining and thin-film technologies. The concept of micro-hotplate is one of the possible solutions. Considering of the thermal resistant and sensitive characteristics of metal platinum, as well as the heat and electricity insulating characteristics of SiO2 and SiNx , a kind of the Si-substrated micro-hotplate gas sensor was designed. Platinum filament was used as heater and temperature sensor, including SiO2 and SiNx was used as thermal and electricity insulation respectively. Then the temperature distribution of the Si-substrated micro-hotplate gas sensor was simulated and analyzed by the finite element analysis(FEA) tool ANSYS. In order to make the gas sensor obtain perfect properties of lower power and higher response speed, gas sensor was ameliorated by the result of analysis. Keywords: anslysis Micro-Hotplate, Si-substrated, finite element

I.

INTRODUCTION

Gas sensors using semiconducting oxides as the active material have been used to detect a variety of gaseous species [1-3]. In particular; SnO2 and ZnO have been extensively studied, and have been used as the base material in devices such as the Taguchi sensor [4]. An increasing degree of integration is being designed into sensor systems in order to meet a growing demand for portable instrumentation in applications such as automotive, environmental monitoring and medical industries. The growth of this market has been limited both by the relatively high power consumption of current commercial chemical sensors and by the high cost of the manufacturing technology. However, the application of silicon micro technology, which has revolutionized the microelectronics industry over the last 20 years, may permit the desired benefits. There is considerable interest in the development of micro-hotplate[5] for micro-sensor applications during the last decade [6,7]. The small thermal mass of the micro-hotplate dramatically decreases the power consumption and increases the dynamic response of microsensors. Metallization is the driving force in the miniaturization of microelectronic devices [8] and multi-layer and multi-level metallization play a critical role in the successful evolution of integrated circuits (ICs) [9]. It is even more challenging for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) technology. The application of commercial Mechanical Computer Aided Engineering (MCAE) software on the design and analysis of micro-hotplate structures is presented[10-12]. The simulation

A. Isolator Simulation In most of the cases, the micro heater must be a small structure fabricated using a CMOS-compatible process with a good fabrication yield and having the lowest possible power consumption. Micro heaters consist generally of a hot plate on a membrane micro machined from bulk silicon. The temperature rise is obtained by Joule effect in a resistor deposited on a membrane (preferably dielectric) a few micrometers thick. In this paper, different isolator will be considered in order to find an optimal structure

Figure 1.Structural modeling of Isolator Simulation

The Structural Modeling is schematically depicted in Fig. 1. The blue 1mm0.1mm substrate of 2um thick is the isolator (SiO2 or SiNx) and the red 0.3mm0.05mm film of 0.3 um thick is Platinum. The simulations of the isolator (SiO2 or SiNx) are shown in Fig. 2. Fig. 2a shows the temperature distribution of SiO2 film and Fig. 2b shows the temperature distribution of SiNx film. The temperature of SiO2 film is higher than the temperature of SiNx film as shown in Fig. 2c. It is because that the thermal diffusivity of SiO2 is smaller than the thermal diffusivity of SiNx. The SiO2 film can make the gas sensitive

This project was funded by the Natural Science Fund of Jiangsu Province(BK2007185) and the Natural Science Fund for Colleges and Universities of Jiangsu Province(07KJB460044) *Contact author: yinchenbo@njut.edu.cn

978-1-4244-1908-1/08/$25.00 2008 IEEE.

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film at a higher temperature than SiNx film with the same energy consumption.

heater electrode is 40um and the distance between heater electrodes is 80 um.

(a)

(a)

(b)
600 550 500 450

(b)
SiO2 SiNx

TEMPERATURE/C

400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0.0000 0.0002 0.0004 0.0006 0.0008 0.0010

DIST/m

(c) Figture3. a) The cross-section of the micro-hotplate structure b) The structure of the heater c) The structure of the signal electrode

(c) Figture 2. a) Temperature distribution of SiO2 film b) Temperature distribution of SiNx film c) Temperature curve of SiO2 and SiNx

B. Structural Modeling The structure of the micro-sensor is shown in Fig. 3. The SiO2 film is made as the thermal and electricity insulation film between the Si and heater, and the SiNx film is made as the electricity insulation film between the heater and the signal electrode. The temperature sensor is made of platinum and the platinum is also made as the heater. The gas sensitive film is made of SnO2. The micro-sensor is 3mm3mm1.2mm and the sensitive film is 1.4mm1.4mm0.4um. The width of the

C. Simulation Result ANSYS is a comprehensive suite of MEMS design tools in the industry. It acts as a seamless integrated design environment that reduces design risk, speeds time-to-market and lowers development costs. The finite element analysis enables detailed 3D multi-physics numerical analysis to support virtually every MEMS application. The structure shown in Fig..3a-c was simulated in the analyzer part of ANSYS with physics option set to ElectroThermal. Fig. 4 clearly shows the central hot-spot in the microsensor while the temperature is fixed at 4000C . The

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temperature distributing of the gas sensitive film is wellproportioned as shown in Fig. 4. And the well-proportioned temperature distributing is beneficial to the gas sensitive film(SnO2 ).

(a)

Figure 4. The temperature distributing as the heater is made of platinum

The temperature of the hot-spot corner is almost 4000C as show in Fig. 4 .It is because that the thermal conductivity coefficient of platinum is much bigger than other materials which are used in the structure. So the Thermal conduction of the platinum electrode is much faster than other materials .The distance between platinum electrode and central hot-spot was enlarged to reduce the thermal consumption from the platinum electrode as shown in Figture 5. The temperature distribution of the new structure is shown in Figture 6. It clearly shows that the temperature of the platinum electrode is much lower and the hot-spot centralizes in the middle of the micro-hotplate. According to the study, the structure of the micro-hotplate has been improved as shown in Fig. 7.

(b) Figure 7. a)The structure of the micro-hotplate b) The cross-section of the micro-hotplate structure

III.

CONCLUSION

Figure 5. The amelioration of the heater structure

The thermal analysis is applied during the design of a MHP structure. The MHP's structure is shown in Fig.1a-d. The Sisubstrated micro-hotplate gas sensor is designed. The temperature sensor is made of platinum. And the platinum filament is made as the heater. The 1.4mm1.4mm gas sensitive film is made of SnO2 . SiO2 and SiNx is used as thermal and electricity insulation respectively. The SiO2 film can make the gas sensitive film at a higher temperature than SiNx film with the same energy consumption. So the SiO2 film is made as the thermal and electricity insulation film between the Si and heater, and the SiNx film is made as the electricity insulation film between the heater and the signal electrode. Thermal conductivity coefficient of platinum is much bigger than other materials which are used in the structure. The distance between platinum electrode and central hot-spot was enlarged to reduce the thermal consumption from the platinum electrode According to the study, the structure of the microhotplate have been improved. ACKNOWLEDGMENT We would like to thank Dr. Chunhai Cao at Department of Electronic Science & Engineering of Nanjing University for his support of this project. REFERENCES

Figure 6. the temperature distributing after the amelioration of the heater structure

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