Detection of volatile organics using MEMS-based ion mobility spectrometers

Fundamental development project for the detection of volatile organics using MEMS-based ion mobility spectrometers (DoSIs)

Project duration: 09/2019-02/2022

© Fraunhofer IPMS
First technology iteration with first chip variant without Guard.
© Fraunhofer IPMS
Processed wafer with IMS chip design - shown is the contact side with the traces.

The detection of volatile organic compounds (VOC) in the ppm and ppb concentration range plays a major role in the fields of environmental analysis, medical technology, production engineering and safety technology, among others. Various solutions have already been established on the market that use ion mobility for detection and quantification. These devices are currently hardly mobile, measure mostly only discontinuously and are also quite expensive. DoSIs therefore aims to explore an ion mobility based analytical method that follows a MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) based solution. To this end, building on preliminary work, a conceptual revision of a MEMS-based approach will be undertaken and translated into a general-purpose ion mobility spectrometer (IMS)-MEMS design. From this, a suitable process concept will be derived and implemented in a MEMS clean room on 200-mm wafers. In parallel, an ionization module for the ionization of organic, gaseous materials in an air-like atmosphere will be researched, as well as fundamental investigations into the feasibility of controlling the analysis chip with regard to electrical properties and requirements. Furthermore, an integration of the components into a gas ionization module will be developed.

The goal in the framework is the implementation and demonstration of the functionality of an experimental laboratory setup with MEMS chip and all required components, this includes e.g. the research and development of the required technologies and components. These activities are carried out in close cooperation and consultation with the joint partner ZAFT e.V. As a long-term goal, a device development (in cooperation with industrial partners), which offers a hand-held and portable possibility to detect VOCs- The targeted technology allows the realization of larger quantities.

Project partner

  • Zentrum für angewandte Forschung und Technologie e.V.

Supported by:

  • Subproject: 100376639
  • Joint number: 3867