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Operation characteristics and optical emission distribution of a miniaturized silicon through-substrate split-ring resonator microplasma source
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences. (ÅSTC)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Physics, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Applied Nuclear Physics.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Science and Technology, Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences, Applied Materials Sciences. (ÅSTC)
2014 (English)In: Journal of microelectromechanical systems, ISSN 1057-7157, E-ISSN 1941-0158, Vol. 23, no 6, 1340-1345 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There are many new microplasma sources being developed for a wide variety of applications, each with different properties tailored to its specific use. Microplasma sources enable portable instruments for, e.g., chemical analysis, sterilization, or activation of substances. A novel microplasma source, based on a microstrip split-ring resonator design with electrodes integrated in its silicon substrate, was designed, manufactured, and evaluated. This device has a plasma discharge gap with a controlled volume and geometry, and offers straightforward integration with other microelectromechancial systems (MEMS) components, e.g., microfluidics. The realized device was resonant at around 2.9 GHz with a quality factor of 18.7. Two different operational modes were observed with the plasma at high pressure being confined in the gap between the electrodes, whereas the plasma at low pressures appeared between the ends of the electrodes on the backside. Measurement of the angular distribution of light emitted from the device with through-substrate electrodes showed narrow emission lobes compared with a reference plasma source with on-substrate electrodes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 23, no 6, 1340-1345 p.
National Category
Physical Sciences Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-239111DOI: 10.1109/JMEMS.2014.2312849ISI: 000345851100010OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-239111DiVA: diva2:775859
Available from: 2015-01-05 Created: 2014-12-18 Last updated: 2016-04-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Miniature Plasma Sources for High-Precision Molecular Spectroscopy in Planetary Exploration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Miniature Plasma Sources for High-Precision Molecular Spectroscopy in Planetary Exploration
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The prospect of finding life outside Earth has fascinated mankind for ages, and new technology continuously pushes the boundary of how remote and how obscure evidence we can find. Employing smaller, or completely new, types of landers and robots, and equipping them with miniature instruments would indeed revolutionize exploration of other planets and moons.

In this thesis, microsystems technology is used to create a miniature high-precision isotope-resolving molecular spectrometer utilizing the optogalvanic effect. The heart of the instrument, as well as this thesis, is a microplasma source.

The plasma source is a split-ring resonator, chosen for its simplicity, pressure range and easily accessible plasma, and modified to fit the challenging application, e.g., by the adding of an additional ground plane for improved electromagnetic shielding, and the integration of microscopic plasma probes to extract the pristine optogalvanic signal.

Plasma sources of this kind have been manufactured in both printed circuit board and alumina, the latter for its chemical inertness and for compatibility with other devices in a total analysis system. From previous studies, classical optogalvanic spectroscopy (OGS), although being very sensitive, is known to suffer from stability and reproducibility issues. In this thesis several studies were conducted to investigate and improve these shortcomings, and to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. Moreover, extensive work was put into understanding the underlying physics of the technique.

The plasma sources developed here, are the first ever miniature devices to be used in OGS, and exhibits several benefits compared to traditional solutions. Furthermore, it has been confirmed that OGS scales well with miniaturization. For example, the signal strength does not decrease as the volume is reduced like in regular absorption spectroscopy. Moreover, the stability and reproducibility are greatly increased, in some cases as much as by two orders of magnitude, compared with recent studies made on a classical OGS setup. The signal-to-noise ratio has also been greatly improved, e.g., by enclosing the sample cell and by biasing the plasma. Another benefit of a miniature sample cell is the miniscule amount of sample it requires, which can be important in many applications where only small amounts of sample are available.

To conclude: With this work, an important step toward a miniature, yet highly performing, instrument for detection of extraterrestrial life, has been taken.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2015. 53 p.
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Science and Technology, ISSN 1651-6214 ; 1253
MEMS, MST, Optogalvanic Spectroscopy, Molecular Spectroscopy, Split-Ring Resonator, Microplasma
National Category
Physical Sciences Engineering and Technology
Research subject
Engineering Science with specialization in Microsystems Technology
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-251315 (URN)978-91-554-9245-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2015-06-05, Polhemsalen, Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
Available from: 2015-05-11 Created: 2015-04-15 Last updated: 2015-07-07

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