Cambridge CMOS Sensors (CCMOS) says it is seeing increasing sales of its gas-sensing microsystems and is on the cusp of more major contracts. Gas-sensing technology has a broad range of applications, including domestic gas detectors, industrial safety, explosive detection, medical diagnostics and environmental monitoring. A Cambridge University spin-off that recently raised an additional £4.5m, the company was just named “Start-up of the Year” by BusinessWeekly.
Its sensors use high-temperature tungsten MOSFET heaters embedded in an SOI membrane. These effectively form a micro-hotplate that heats the sensing material, allowing it to react with gas molecules. Crucially, CCMOS’ MOSFETs can be fabricated in a commercial SOI-CMOS process and therefore can be fully integrated with the associated drive/detection circuitry. The devices can be heated from room temperature to 700°C in a fraction of a second and have the ultra-low power consumption suitable for battery operation.