AMA Innovation Award 2022
An innovative gas sensor system with novel spectral broadband infrared (IR) emitter - The development combines breakthrough technologies from MEMS chips to gas sensor system with special long-term stability, enabling new applications for gas analysis even in extreme environmental conditions.
The gas sensor system has the outstanding property of exhibiting high long-term stability under very harsh environmental conditions such as high temperatures, strong temperature fluctuations and extreme humidity. This is made possible by the patented HermeSEAL® technology. For a high longevity of the sensor components, it is essential to seal them hermetically, because under high temperatures, high humidity and corresponding alternating loads, conventional adhesive and soldered joints can degrade very quickly. The new metallization and joining technology enables the construction of hermetically sealed and long-term stable infrared components and gas sensors based on them.
Measurement and analysis of gases is a key task for instrument development in all markets and industries: Biotechnology and Life Science, Medical, Aerospace, Agri & Food, Human and Environmental Safety and Energy.
Example bio-medical technology / cell incubators
In cell incubators, a specific and continuous concentration of CO2 is necessary for cell and tissue growth. To monitor and control this atmosphere inside the incubator, the NDIR gas sensor measures the concentration of carbon dioxide. The sensor head is placed directly in the atmosphere to be measured. The probe can be heat sterilized at up to 190 °C. Cleaning can thus be done easily and safely with little risk of cross-contamination. The implemented compensation of temperature and pressure variations during measurement leads to less handling errors and easy integration of the gas sensor into the incubator measurement and control system. The MicroSENS Hightemp CO2 sensor convinces with low drift, high accuracy and long-term stable performance in daily use.
Example aerospace technology /oxygen generators
In NASA's current Mars mission, Micro-Hybrid's hermetically sealed IR emitters, in a sensor made by SmartGas, were installed in the NASA Perseverance Mars Rover. In this application for oxygen generation from the Martian atmosphere (for more information, see article Groundbreaking success for manned space flight to Mars), components of the highest reliability and robustness are required to withstand strong loads such as the enormous G-forces during rocket launch, extreme temperatures and atmospheric pressure conditions, among others.
"The growth of the global market for innovative gas sensors will increase significantly in the coming years. With our packaging technology and the combined know-how of all companies and research institutions involved in the technology platform, we are convincing with international unique selling points," says Director of Sales & Marketing, Stefan Dietl.
Steffen Biermann, Director of Development & Industrial Engineering: "The collaborations with research partners from the region open up the opportunity to expand Thuringia as a high-tech location and hot spot for optical gas sensors and its reliable MEMS components in the heart of Germany. Such a network will also be able to achieve success in further research projects in the field of quantum sensors."
Prof. Dr. Th. Ortlepp, Managing Director of CiS Forschungsinstitut für Mikrosensorik GmbH: "In close cooperation with our industrial partners, we have succeeded in developing long-term stable and highly dynamic infrared components based on our MEMS technologies and have meanwhile also produced them in series. These represent the core components of modern gas sensors for which enormous market growth can be expected in the next few years - driven by building automation, medical technology and industrial process monitoring."
Picture (left to right):
Professor Dr. Andreas Schütze, Jury Chairman & Professor at Saarland University
Stefan Biermann, Director of Development Industrial Engineering, MH
Patrick Sachse, Senior Product Manager IR, MH
Annett Isserstedt-Trinke, Project Manager R&D, MH
Thomas Bartnitzek, Head of Technology Development - AEM, MH
Peter Krause, AMA Chairman of the Board