Merging chemical and biological sensors with modern circuits and systems has the potential to push complex electronics into low-cost, portable detection platforms. This greatly simplifies system-level instrumentation and extends the reach of such technologies out of the lab and into the field. At the same time, the rapid evolution of MEMS and NEMS sensors has enabled jump-shift improvement in sensitivity and throughput, even as cost, size, and system complexity have decreased. In this talk, an emerging resonant sensor platform and developed applications will be discussed, and future research directions will be presented.
A drive toward label-free, array-based chemical and biological sensing has motivated the development of piezoelectric resonators on CMOS. We have established a method for monolithic fabrication of unreleased, low GHz, thin-film bulk acoustic resonators (FBAR) directly atop a custom CMOS substrate. This device is analogous to a quartz crystal microbalance, where selective analyte binding causes a proportional decrease in resonant frequency. I will present the design and implementation of the complete FBAR-CMOS array, as well as experimental results of volatile organic compound (VOC) quantification using polymer-coated sensors. I will also discuss ongoing efforts to extend this platform to a clinical application in radiation biodosimetry.