Abstract by Aaron Davis
Physics and Astronomy
External connectivity for a silicon microcolumn for gas chromatography
Silicon based micro sensors have enabled data measurement in a large variety of fields by making sensors smaller and more portable. One of the biggest challenges with microsensors is connecting them to the macro-scale world. We are building a micro-scale gas chromatographic column to enable sensing of complex mixtures of gasses without large, power intensive lab equipment. To fabricate these microcolumns we are using deep-reactive-ion-etching, nickel evaporation, and wafer bonding. We have approached several solutions for creating a seal between a gas injector and the inlet of the micro-column that can withstand thermal cycling. We have explored the use of a bead of silicone on a quartz capillary to create a seal with an etched hole in our silicon column using a compression spring to keep the seal tight under many thermal cycles.