Improved MEMS Chemical Vapor Sensors

A team of Michigan Tech researchers has won an $800,000 contract from the State of Michigan 21st Century Jobs Fund to develop improved MEMS chemical vapor sensors.

Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Michele Miller (in photo) leads a project team of faculty from Mechanical Engineering (Professor Gordon Parker, Assistant Professor Henry Sodano), Chemistry (Assistant Professor Haiying Liu, Professor Sarah Green), and Electrical Engineering (Associate Professor Paul Bergstrom). The Michigan Tech faculty will collaborate with researchers at the University of West Virginia, Sandia National Labs, and one or more Michigan MEMS companies to improve sensitivity, selectivity and reliability of MEMS based sensors for detecting nerve gas and other chemical vapors. One goal for the project is to fabricate novel porous structures for increasing sensing surface area. Another key goal is to incorporate chemical and structural behavior into a multi-regime design optimization. Expected outcomes are new MEMS sensors with superior performance and a new design methodology for dealing with the vast design parameter space of chemo-mechanical devices.