Micromachined SiC Sensors For Harsh Environment Applications
Department of Energy
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Small Business Information
Advanced Technology Materials,
7 Commerce Drive, Danbury, CT, 06810
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Dr. Gary M. Smith
Dr. Duncan W. Brown
Abstract76 Micromachined SiC Sensors For Harsh Environment Applications--Advanced Technology Materials, Inc., 7 Commerce Drive, Danbury, CT 06810-4131; (203) 794-1100 Dr. Gary M. Smith, Principal Investigator Dr. Duncan W. Brown, Business Official DOE Grant No. DE-FG02-97ER82317 Amount: $75,000 Many industries are increasing their use of environmental sensors to improve system efficiency, safety, and reliability. Harsh environments, such as monitoring high temperatures or in the presence of corrosive gases, require expectionally robust sensors. Micromachined sensors would be ideal; unfortunately, silicon (Si) -based sensors fail under adverse conditions. Silicon carbide (SiC) is a semiconductor, analogous to silicon, with electrical, physical, and chemical properties that allow operation at very high temperatures and in harsh environment. Substitution of SiC in sensors that are currently fabricated in silicon allows operation in corrosive and moist environments as well as increases the temperature limit for these systems from below 125oC for Si to a limit approaching 1000oC for SiC. This program will develop SiC films for low-noise sensors and establish a portion of the key technology for making sensors in SiC. In Phase II we will optimize sensor design, fabricate pressure sensors, package the sensors, and characterize the performance in harsh environments with a commercial partner. Commercial Applications and Other Benefits as described by the awardee: High temperature sensors and control electronics will find significant use in the automotive market to achieve increased fuel economy and safety while reducing exhaust emissions. Other applications include sensors for commercial and military aircraft engines, nuclear reactors, corrosive gases, and semiconductor process tools.
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