Capacitive Structures for Gas and Biological Sensing

  • Christos Sapsanis

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The semiconductor industry was benefited by the advances in technology in the last decades. This fact has an impact on the sensors field, where the simple transducer was evolved into smart miniaturized multi-functional microsystems. However, commercially available gas and biological sensors are mostly bulky, expensive, and power-hungry, which act as obstacles to mass use. The aim of this work is gas and biological sensing using capacitive structures. Capacitive sensors were selected due to its design simplicity, low fabrication cost, and no DC power consumption. In the first part, the dominant structure among interdigitated electrodes (IDEs), fractal curves (Peano and Hilbert) and Archimedean spiral was investigated from capacitance density perspective. The investigation consists of geometrical formula calculations, COMSOL Multiphysics simulations and cleanroom fabrication of the capacitors on a silicon substrate. Moreover, low-cost fabrication on flexible plastic PET substrate was conducted outside cleanroom with rapid prototyping using a maskless laser etching. The second part contains the humidity, Volatile Organic compounds (VOCs) and Ammonia sensing of polymers, Polyimide and Nafion, and metal-organic framework (MOF), Cu(bdc)2.xH2O using IDEs and tested in an automated gas setup for experiment control and data extraction. The last part includes the biological sensing of C - reactive protein (CRP) quantification, which is considered as a biomarker of being prone to cardiac diseases and Bovine serum albumin (BSA) protein quantification, which is used as a reference for quantifying unknown proteins.
Date of AwardApr 2015
Original languageEnglish (US)
Awarding Institution
  • Computer, Electrical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering
SupervisorKhaled Salama (Supervisor)


  • Capacitive Sensors
  • Gas Measurement System
  • Gas Sensors
  • Biosensors
  • Flexibile Sensors
  • Fractal

Cite this