A Novel Miniature and Selective CMOS Gas Sensor for Gas Mixture Analysis—Part 4: The Effect of Humidity

Moshe Avraham, Adir Krayden, Hanin Ashkar, Dan Aronin, Sara Stolyarova, Tanya Blank, Dima Shlenkevitch, Yael Nemirovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This is the fourth part of a study presenting a miniature, combustion-type gas sensor (dubbed GMOS) based on a novel thermal sensor (dubbed TMOS). The TMOS is a micromachined CMOS-SOI transistor, which acts as the sensing element and is integrated with a catalytic reaction plate, where ignition of the gas takes place. The GMOS measures the temperature change due to a combustion exothermic reaction. The controlling parameters of the sensor are the ignition temperature applied to the catalytic layer and the increased temperature of the hotplate due to the released power of the combustion reaction. The solid-state device applies electrical parameters, which are related to the thermal parameters. The heating is applied by Joule heating with a resistor underneath the catalytic layer while the signal is monitored by the change in voltage of the TMOS sensor. Voltage, like temperature, is an intensive parameter, and one always measures changes in such parameters relative to a reference point. The reference point for both parameters (temperature and voltage) is the blind sensor, without any catalytic layer and hence where no reaction takes place. The present paper focuses on the study of the effect of humidity upon performance. In real life, the sensors are exposed to environmental parameters, where humidity plays a significant role. Humidity is high in storage rooms of fruits and vegetables, in refrigerators, in silos, in fields as well as in homes and cars. This study is significant and innovative since it extends our understanding of the performance of the GMOS, as well as pellistor sensors in general, in the presence of humidity. The three main challenges in simulating the performance are (i) how to define the operating temperature based on the input parameters of the heater voltage in the presence of humidity; (ii) how to measure the dynamics of the temperature increase during cyclic operation at a given duty cycle; and (iii) how to model the correlation between the operating temperature and the sensing response in the presence of humidity. Due to the complexity of the 3D analysis of packaged GMOS, and the many aspects of humidity simultanoesuly affecting performane, advanced simulation software is applied, incorporating computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The simulation and experimental data of this study show that the GMOS sensor can operate in the presence of high humidity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number264
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2024


  • CFD
  • gas sensor
  • GMOS
  • humidity
  • pellistor
  • TMOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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