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Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona IMB-CNM   

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The generic objective of this group is to make use of microtechnologies to obtain microdevices built from microstructures with an architecture that confers them an added functionality (resonant structures, thermal isolated structures, 3D topography...), Materials used are typically those commonly related to silicon technology, although recently they are being complemented with alternative materials such as polymer/paper and their associated low-cost technologies.

In the energy field, harvesting (thermoelectricity) and generation (microfuel cells) are investigated. In the sensing field, the focus is on in devices that allow identifying gases and liquids in relation to different physical, chemical and electrochemical parameters. The microintegration feasibility of both sensors and sources of energy is another interest of the group.

In the microenergy field, the aims are:

Thermoelectric harvesting

Progressing in the development of thermoelectric microgenerators based on the microfabrication of a thermal suspended platform, a thermal microradiator and the monolithic integration of silicon nanowire arrays as thermoelectric material.

Micro fuel-cells

Progressing in the integration of proper nanostructured catalytic materials for the cathode and anode of alkaline fuel cells, and defining new monolithic architectures for the whole devices.

Progressing in the use of polymeric materials or paper for the integration of microfluidic fuel cells aiming at disposable applications.

In the sensing field, the aims are:

Sensors and systems for gas detection

Consolidate our R&D line on gas microsensors (MOX, SAW, cantilever-type devices and NDIR). AACVD (Aerosol Assisted Chemical Vapor Deposition) synthesis of nanostructured metal oxides functionalized with different metal nanoparticles for their integration in both classical micromachined substrates and polymeric substrates (reduced cost). Explore new gas detection principles.

Sensors and systems for liquids

Developing of metalic and carbon micro and nanoelectrodes for electrochemical measurements. Progressing in the integration of such in microfluidic fuel cells built on polymeric or paper substrates to obtain autonomous labs-on-chip. Progressing in the integration of a compact system for fingerprinting liquid samples by means of NDIR (infrared) spectroscopy.

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Full Review William Hill