A pressure and flow sensor based on the electrothermal-thermistor effect of a batch-processed carbon nanotube wall (CNT wall) is presented. The negative temperature coefficient of resistance (TCR) of CNTs and the temperature dependent tunneling rate through the CNT/silicon junction enable vacuum pressure and flow velocity sensing because the heat transfer rate between CNTs and the surrounding gas molecules differs depending on pressure and flow rate. The CNT walls are synthesized by thermal chemical vapor deposition (CVD) on an array of microelectrodes fabricated on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafer. The CNTs are self-assembled between the microelectrodes and substrate across the thickness of a buried oxide layer during the synthesis process, and the simple batch fabrication results in high throughput and yield. A wide pressure range, down to 3 × 10- 3 from 105Pa, and a nitrogen flow velocity range between 1 and 52.4 mms- 1, are sensed. Further experimental characterizations of the bias voltage dependent response of the sensor as a vacuum pressure gauge are presented.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering