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Micro PA detector: Pushing the limits of mid IR photoacoustic spectroscopy integrated on silicon

: Coutard, Jean-Guillaume; Berthelot, Audrey; Glière, Alain; Lhermet, Hélène; Scherer, Benjamin; Strahl, Thomas; Teulle, Alexandre; Verdot, Thierry


Reed, G.T. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Silicon Photonics XV : 1-6 February 2020, San Francisco, California
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2020 (Proceedings of SPIE 11285)
Paper 1128513, 9 pp.
Conference "Silicon Photonics" <15, 2020, San Francisco/Calif.>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IPM ()
MEMS; gas sensor; photoacoustic spectroscopy

Photoacoustic (PA) spectroscopy is one of the most sensitive technique used to monitor chemical emission or detect gas traces. Coupled to quantum cascade lasers, this system is widely used in a large number of application fields from industrial control to health monitoring. Mass production for a large dissemination of such systems requires however further development for both decreasing their footprint and manufacturing cost. Since the last 6 years CEA-LETI has developed different versions of miniaturized photoacoustic cells. We have already demonstrated the detection of gas traces with a tiny silicon based-PA cell. Nevertheless, this first result was obtained with commercial MEMS microphones. Even if these components are reliable and enough performant they are not dedicated to photoacoustic gas detection and cannot be easily integrated into a fabrication process flow. To cope with these issues we suggest using both the M&NEMS technology and the MIR photonics. The new PAdetector termed microPA is built by stacking two 200 mm wafers: a sensor wafer, which includes the microphone (MEMS mechanical diaphragm and NEMS piezoresistive gauges), capillaries and fluidic ports, and a cap wafer, which includes the PA cell, the expansion volume, SiGe waveguides guiding the light into the PA cell, metal routing and electric contacts. Frequency response measurements as well as PA gas detection have been carried out. The system shows a mechanical resonance of the diaphragm at the frequency of 6500 Hz, in good agreement with the simulation. First CO2 and CH4 tests in laboratory condition demonstrates a limit of detection in the ppm range and a NNEA of 10-8