Ultrasensitive thermometer for atmospheric pressure operation based on a micromechanical resonator

Alberto Cagliani, V. Pini, J. Tamayo, M. Calleja, Zachary James Davis

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    For highly integrated systems for bio and chemical analysis a precise and integrated measurement of temperature is of fundamental importance. We have developed an ultrasensitive thermometer based on a micromechanical resonator for operation in air. The high quality factor and the strong temperature dependence of the resonance frequency of these bulk microresonators enable accurate temperature measurements. Here, we delineate the conditions to decouple the temperature effect on the resonance frequency, from the water adsorption/desorption on the resonator surface that happens when it is operated in air. This study enables high temperature resolution measurements, as well as the possibility of monitoring adsorption and desorption processes on the resonator surface with a resolution of 0.007 water molecules per nm2. These devices reach a temperature resolution of 3 mK in air, which is one of the best ever reported temperature resolution for resonator based thermometers. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
    Pages (from-to)339-345
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Atmospheric pressure
    • Humidity
    • Mass sensitivity
    • Micromechanical resonator
    • Temperature sensor
    • Atmospheric humidity
    • Micromechanical resonators
    • Natural frequencies
    • Resonators
    • Temperature measurement
    • Temperature sensors
    • Adsorption and desorptions
    • High quality factors
    • Integrated measurements
    • Integrated systems
    • Resonance frequencies
    • Temperature dependence
    • Temperature resolution
    • Thermometers


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