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Measuring the dielectric constant of liquid on a chip with silicon nanowires : scientific investigation of the measurement principles and functionality

Wiggers, F.B. (2013) Measuring the dielectric constant of liquid on a chip with silicon nanowires : scientific investigation of the measurement principles and functionality.

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Abstract:This project is about measuring the dielectric constant of liquid on a chip with silicon nanowires. This work is carried out under the umbrella of PhD research work on nanowire sensors, carried out by Marleen Mescher. This report comprises a theoretical description of nanowire sensors, which is combined with the device layout. In particular the liquid interfacing and the prevention of leakage when using solvents has been extensively studied. Dioxane has been selected as the liquid to complement water for characterization of the nanowire sensor, due to its low dielectric constant and miscibility. It was found that a sealing layer based on an acrylic adhesive on a polyester carrier proved sufficiently durable. In addition, silicone rubber has been identified as a suitable tubing material. These efforts resulted in a microfluidic setup that successfully contained the liquids for the duration of the experiments as reported in this research. An important part of this work covers the comparison of experiments focusing on air, water, and 1,4-dioxane. A method to extract the threshold and slope parameters was defined and executed. Based on calculations and experimental evidence the nanowire sensor has been shown to work and a change in transconductance of the sensor was successfully measured between water and dioxane. Recommendations were made to improve the sensitivity and accuracy of these measurements. Important conclusions were also made relating to the measurement methodology. The first conclusion is that just one measurement is not reliable and stabilization is required. The second conclusion is that time and the number of measurements are important parameters in this stabilization process. And finally, for each specific system these parameters could behave differently, requiring the identification of the dominant parameter in order to develop a reliable measurement protocol.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:53 electrotechnology
Programme:Electrical Engineering MSc (60353)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/69763
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