Microelectro Mechanical Systems and MEMS Sensors

NevadaNano has spent a decade integrating multiple, complementary chemical sensors on a single silicon chip. We call it the Molecular Property Spectrometer™ (MPS). The MPS Gas Sensor works together to measure a variety of thermodynamic and electrostatic molecular properties of sampled vapors, liquids, and particles. In less than a second, the chip creates a large, rich dataset of chemical information. Then, Custom MPS software identifies the types of molecules present in an unknown sample.

The chip is an example of a microelectro mechanical systems (MEMS) because it exploits the many inherent advantages of MEMS. For instance, it has low power consumption, minute in size, light weight, and robust for real world applications. Additionally, in a span of milliseconds, the sensors can heat to hundreds of degrees Celsius, make a variety of high-precision thermal measurements, then cool back to room temperature. Various components of the system can detect picogram-scale masses and measure temperature with 0.01-degree resolution. It can operate in temperatures from -40°C to 75°C and all non-condensing humidity levels.


These capabilities make the MPS a highly flexible sensor solution, attractive for a wide range of applications.


The chip incorporates a patented array of micro-cantilevers with integrated piezoelectric sensing elements that provide electrical actuation and sensing of resonance frequency. Monitoring resonance is a highly sensitive way to measure very small masses of adsorbed analyte. An array of sensors can be electrically monitored in a low-cost, robust fashion because of the unique piezoelectric configuration the MPS allows. Whereas, the more common alternative of using an optical readout is more expensive but less robust.

All MPS sensors have built-in resistive heaters so an assortment of thermal analyses (e.g. Differential Scanning Calorimetry) can be conducted. Also, this allows for the cleaning of each sensor after processing a sample. When necessary, these resistors also enable temperature and flow compensation in order to minimize sensor noise and drift and further enhance sensitivity.

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NevadaNano is the developer of the Molecular Property Spectrometer gas-sensing products that use Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) structures to detect, identify, and quantify chemicals in the air.

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