Research project looks into the exhaust pipe

February 08, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
The reduction of CO2 emissions is the long-term goal of the research project SOI-HITS (Silicon on Insulator - High Temperature Systems). The project's contribution to this goal is developing CMOS-compatible high-temperature sensors for use in automotive combustion systems as well as in domestic or industrial boilers.

SOI-HITS will develop sensors with built-in electronic interface that will be designed to work in harsh high temperature environments, something that is difficult to achieve at the present time due to the limits of conventional sensor and control electronics and packaging. The development of a high temperature SIP (system in a package) will enable real-world technology demonstrators with the capability of on-chip processing electronics, including drive circuitry, filters, amplifiers, processing circuits and analog to digital interfaces, operating at 2250°C.

The interdisciplinary SOI-HITS research consortium is led by Microsemi, a provider of semiconductor solutions differentiated by power, security, reliability and performance. Also participating is the high-temperature semiconductor manufacturer CISSOID which will design an intelligent, highly integrated high-temperature interface circuit for the gas sensor to be developed. From CISSOID's perspective, the goal of the project is to demonstrate an advanced solution for monitoring, controlling and reducing the emission of carbon dioxide in the abovementioned applications.

Cambridge CMOS Sensors, a spin-out SME, will exploit the smart technology for gas sensors developed by the universities of Cambridge and Warwick. Cambridge university is also participating; it will provide overall scientific coordination and technical leadership for the nano sensor design and fabrication within harsh environments.

Honeywell (Romania) will be responsible for the demonstrator design and testing and oversees the exploitation activities of the project. In addition, it will be involved in gas sensors design and fabrication, and in the numerical simulation of the sensors and sensing system developed within the project.

IREC will be responsible for scientific research related to gas sensing structures, design, numerical simulations, test structure fabrication and sensing layer selection.

Université Catholique de Louvain will design and test a water vapour concentration sensor, a UV photodiode and associated interface electronic circuits, for high temperature operation.

The Warwick University Sensors Research Lab will be responsible for the characterization and testing of the gas sensors under harsh environmental conditions.

The project is in funded in