A Phase-Domain Readout Circuit for a CMOS-Compatible Hot-Wire CO₂ Sensor

Zeyu Cai, Robert van Veldhoven, Hilco Suy, Ger de Graaf, Kofi A. A. Makinwa, Michiel A. P. Pertijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
155 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a readout circuit for a carbon dioxide (COࠢ) sensor that measures the CO₂-dependent thermal time constant of a hot-wire transducer. The readout circuit periodically heats up the transducer and uses a phase-domain Δ Σ modulator to digitize the phase shift of the resulting temperature transients. A single resistive transducer is used both as a heater and as a temperature sensor, thus greatly simplifying its fabrication. To extract the transducer's resistance, and hence its temperature, in the presence of large heating currents, a pair of transducers is configured as a differentially driven bridge. The transducers and the readout circuit have been implemented in a standard 0.16μm CMOS technology, with an active area of 0.3 and 3.14 mm², respectively. The sensor consumes 6.8 mW from a 1.8-V supply, of which 6.3 mW is dissipated in the transducers. A resolution of 94-ppm CO₂ is achieved in a 1.8-s measurement time, which corresponds to an energy consumption of 12 mJ per measurement, >10x less than prior CO₂ sensors in CMOS technology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3303-3313
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Green Open Access added to TU Delft Institutional Repository ‘You share, we take care!’ – Taverne project https://www.openaccess.nl/en/you-share-we-take-care
Otherwise as indicated in the copyright section: the publisher is the copyright holder of this work and the author uses the Dutch legislation to make this work public.


  • Carbon dioxide (CO₂) sensor
  • CMOS compatible
  • delta-sigma modulator
  • phase-domain readout
  • Energy measurement
  • resistive sensor
  • thermal conductivity (TC)

Cite this