Micro thermal conductivity detector with flow compensation using a dual MEMS device

G. de Graaf, Accel Abarca Prouza, M. Ghaderi, R.F. Wolffenbuttel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A generic method to reduce the in-line flow dependence of thermal conductivity detectors (TCDs) is presented. The principle is based on a dual-MEMS device configuration. Two thin-film sensors on membranes in parallel in the gas stream on the same chip are differentially operated. Both micro-TCDs are designed to be identical in terms of contact with the main gas flow, however a different depth of the detection chamber results in a different response to the thermal conductivity of the sample gas. Static and dynamic simulations have been performed to characterize the design of the fabricated structures. Devices have been fabricated in a MEMS process using a combined surface- and bulk micromachining process. The devices have been characterized statically and dynamically. Measurements on prototypes show that depending on the range of gases, device size and flow range device the effect of flow on the thermal conductivity can be reduced by a factor 4–15.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-198
Number of pages13
JournalSensors and Actuators A: Physical: an international journal devoted to research and development of physical and chemical transducers
Publication statusPublished - 24 Aug 2016


  • Thermal conductivity detector
  • Flow compensation
  • Hydrogen sensor
  • Helium sensor
  • CO2 sensor
  • MEMS
  • TCD


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