A Self-Sustained CMOS Microwave Chemical Sensor Using a Frequency Synthesizer Academic Article uri icon


  • In this paper, a CMOS on-chip sensor is presented to detect dielectric constant of organic chemicals. The dielectric constant of these chemicals is measured using the oscillation frequency shift of an LC voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) upon the change of the tank capacitance when exposed to the liquid. To make the system self-sustained, the VCO is embedded inside a frequency synthesizer to convert the frequency shift into voltage that can be digitized using an on-chip analog-to-digital converter. The dielectric constant is then estimated using a detection procedure including the calibration of the sensor. The dielectric constants of different organic liquids have been detected in the frequency range of 7-9 GHz with an accuracy of 3.7% compared with theoretical values for sample volumes of 10-20 $mu$L. The sensor is also applicable for binary mixture detection and estimation of the fractional volume of the constituting materials with an accuracy of 1%-2%. © 1966-2012 IEEE.

altmetric score

  • 6

author list (cited authors)

  • Helmy, A. A., Jeon, H., Lo, Y., Larsson, A. J., Kulkarni, R., Kim, J., Silva-Martinez, J., & Entesari, K.

citation count

  • 64

publication date

  • July 2012