27 Mars – Thesis defense - Simon Grall
10 h30 Amphi Jean-Paul Dom - building A31 (laboratory IMS) / Talence campus
Cantilever microsensors for air quality control in automotive vehicles.
Fine particulate matters (PM) have a real impact on the quality of life and health of millions of people in large urban areas, especially in Asia. In order to detect them and quantify their concentration, optical PM sensors are the most widely studied, but remain relatively expensive and bulky. MEMS microcantilever transducers are widely used for gravimetric applications, for PM or gas detection, which requires high mass sensitivities (Sm) and low limits of detection (LOD). A solution is to focus on microcantilevers with high resonance frequencies (f0) and quality factors (Q), low measurement noise and low masses. Silicon microcantilevers are commonly used as gravimetric sensors and are serious candidates to meet the desired characteristics. However, screen printing has the potential for cheaper, faster and large scale manufacturing. Such microcantilevers can be actuated and f0 read-out using the piezoelectric effect. Although promising lead-free inorganic solutions exist, titanium lead zirconate (PZT) ceramics still have the best properties among piezoelectric materials. Screen-printed microcantilevers manufactured in hybrid thick-film technology, with integrated piezoelectric actuation and read-out, released using a polyester sacrificial layer and with co-firing of all the layers are presented here. Different geometries were tested from 1 mm to 2 mm wide and from 1 mm to 8 mm long, for a thickness of about 100 μm. A density ρ PZT = 7200 kg/m³ (≈ 93%ρ PZT bulk) was obtained. With a 1×2×0.1 mm³ microcantilever, a sensitivity Sm ≈ 85 Hz/μm and a LOD of 70 ng were found, compatible with applications in PM mass detection.