Session W5: Sensing Science and Sensors for Industrial Applications

 Thursday, March 13, 2008 2:30PM - 3:06PM W5.00001: Next-Generation Mid-Infrared Chemical Sensors – Challenges and Opportunities Invited Speaker: Boris Mizaikoff Thursday, March 13, 2008 3:06PM - 3:42PM W5.00002: Laser Interferometry for Harsh Environment MEMS Sensors Invited Speaker: Patricia Nieva Silicon-based MEMS technology has enabled the fabrication of a broad range of sensor and actuator systems that are having a great impact in areas that benefit from miniaturization and increased functionality. The main advantage of Si-based MEMS technologies is their possibility of integration with microelectronics thus allowing the economical production of smart microsystems. In the automotive industry for example, there is a need for inexpensive smart MEMS sensors for engine control applications. For instance, smart MEMS sensors capable of operating in cylinder'', where temperatures are around 400\r{ }C, could continuously monitor the combustion quality of the cylinders of automotive engines thus leading to reduced emissions and improved fuel economy. However, when the environment temperature is too high ($>$180\r{ }C), conventional Si-based microelectronics suffer from severe performance degradation, thus making smart Si-based MEMS impractical. Hence, further development, in terms of new MEMS materials and/or new technologies, is needed especially where high temperature capability is crucial to realizing improved electronic control. Remote sensing through optical signal detection has major advantages for safe signal transmission in harsh environments. It is highly resistant to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) and at the same time, it eliminates the necessity of on-board electronics, which has been one of the main obstacles in the development of smart MEMS sensors for high temperature applications. An economical way to deal with higher temperatures and other aggressive environmental conditions is to build MEMS sensors out of robust materials (e.g. Silicon nitride, SiC) and integrate them with optical signal detection techniques to form MOEMS. In this paper, we review recent trends for the use of laser interferometry for MEMS sensors in the context of using them for high temperature applications. Technological challenges faced in the development of these sensors, including sensitivity to measurement errors, packaging and cost reduction are also outlined. Finally, an overview of Fabry-Perot like MEMS sensors for high temperature applications is presented and issues facing their future progress and economical implementation are discussed. Thursday, March 13, 2008 3:42PM - 4:18PM W5.00003: Chemical and Physical Sensing in the Petroleum Industry Invited Speaker: Mark Disko World-scale oil, gas and petrochemical production relies on a myriad of advanced technologies for discovering, producing, transporting, processing and distributing hydrocarbons. Sensing systems provide rapid and targeted information that can be used for expanding resources, improving product quality, and assuring environmentally sound operations. For example, equipment such as reactors and pipelines can be operated with high efficiency and safety with improved chemical and physical sensors for corrosion and hydrocarbon detection. At the interface between chemical engineering and multiphase flow physics, multi-scale'' phenomena such as catalysis and heat flow benefit from new approaches to sensing and data modeling. We are combining chemically selective micro-cantilevers, fiber optic sensing, and acoustic monitoring with statistical data fusion approaches to maximize control information. Miniaturized analyzers represent a special opportunity, including the nanotech-based quantum cascade laser systems for mid-infrared spectroscopy. Specific examples for use of these new micro-systems include rapid monocyclic aromatic molecule identification and measurement under ambient conditions at weight ppb levels. We see promise from emerging materials and devices based on nanotechnology, which can one day be available at modest cost for impact in existing operations. Controlled surface energies and emerging chemical probes hold the promise for reduction in greenhouse gas emissions for current fuels and future transportation and energy technologies. Thursday, March 13, 2008 4:18PM - 4:54PM W5.00004: Silicon Carbide Micro/Nano Systems for Demanding and Harsh Environment Applications Invited Speaker: Mehran Mehregany Micro/nano systems enable the development of smart products and systems by augmenting the computational ability of microelectronics with the perception and control capabilities of sensors and actuators. Micro/nano systems are also known as micro- and nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS and NEMS), and have been commercialized in a wide range of applications including crash sensing, blood pressure measurement, optical projection, and fluid flow control to name a few. Silicon, in single- and polycrystalline forms, has been the platform semiconductor material underpinning the fabrication of the mechanical and electronic elements of micro/nano systems. However, the materials properties of silicon impose limitations on its use in harsh environment and demanding applications--for example, those involving operation in the presence of high temperatures, corrosive media, high shock loads, erosive flows, and/or high radiation, or involving performance requirements for the mechanical elements that are beyond silicon's capabilities. Silicon carbide (SiC) is an alternative platform semiconductor material that enables such applications because of its wider bandgap and higher melting/sublimation temperature, elastic modulus, fracture toughness, hardness, chemical inertness, and thermal conductivity. This talk will highlight our most recent SiC material, process, and device advances to enable sensing and actuation in applications such as propulsion instrumentation/control, power generation, resource exploration, nuclear reactor instrumentation, deep space exploration, and communications. Thursday, March 13, 2008 4:54PM - 5:30PM W5.00005: SiC Sensors in Extreme Environments: Real-time Hydrogen Monitoring for Energy Plant Applications Invited Speaker: Ruby Ghosh Clean, efficient energy production, such as the gasification of coal (syngas), requires physical and chemical sensors for exhaust gas monitoring as well as real-time control of the combustion process. Wide-bandgap semiconducting materials systems can meet the sensing demands in these extreme environments consisting of chemically corrosive gases at high temperature and pressure. We have developed a SiC based micro-sensor for detection of hydrogen containing species with millisecond response at 600 \r{ }C. The sensor is a Pt-SiO$_{2}$-SiC device with a dense Pt catalytic sensing film, capable of withstanding months of continuous high temperature operation. The device was characterized in robust sensing module that is compatible with an industrial reactor. We report on the performance of the SiC sensor in a simulated syngas ambient at 370 \r{ }C containing the common interferants CO$_{2}$, CH$_{4}$ and CO [1]. In addition we demonstrate that hours of exposure to $\ge$1000 ppm H$_{2}$S and 15{\%} water vapor does not degrade the sensor performance. To elucidate the mechanisms responsible for the hydrogen response of the sensor we have modeled the hydrogen adsorptions kinetics at the internal Pt-SiO$_{2}$ interface, using both the Tempkin and Langmuir isotherms. Under the conditions appropriate for energy plant applications, the response of our sensor is significantly larger than that obtained from ultra-high vacuum electrochemical sensor measurements at high temperatures. We will discuss the role of morphology, at the nano to micro scale, on the enhanced catalytic activity observed for our Pt sensing films in response to a heated hydrogen gas stream at atmospheric pressure. \newline \newline [1] R. Loloee, B. Chorpening, S. Beers {\&} R. Ghosh, Hydrogen monitoring for power plant applications using SiC sensors, Sens. Actuators B:Chem. (2007), doi:10.1016/j.snb.2007.07.118