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Special Issue: Modern Sensing Technologies

Vol. 90, April 2008, pp. 39-47



Design of an Enhanced Electric Field Sensor Circuit in 0.18 μm CMOS for a Lab-on-a-Chip Bio-cell Detection Micro-Array


S. M. Rezaul HASAN and Siti Noorjannah IBRAHIM

Center for Research in Analog and VLSI microsystem dEsign (CRAVE),

Massey University, Auckland 1311, New Zealand

E-mail: hasanmic@massey.ac.nz, s.ibrahim@massey.ac.nz



Received: 15 October 2007   /Accepted: 20 February 2008   /Published: 15 April 2008


Abstract: An improved CMOS Electric-Field Sensor circuit for sensing bio-cells is presented. The sensor can be used in a Lab-on-a-chip micro-array that uses dielectrophoretic actuation for detecting bio-cells. Compared to the previously published design (DeFET), this improved circuit utilizes the current in both branches of the DeFET to provide a much larger output sensed voltage for the same input electric field intensity (V/m). The enhanced circuit indicates several orders higher electric field sensitivity based on the same 0.18 μm CMOS technology. In general, the improved circuit is found to provide 30dB higher sensitivity relative to the previous DeFET circuit.


Keywords: Electric-field sensor, Dielectrophoresis, Bio-cells, Lab-on-a-chip


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