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Nouvelles technologies de capteurs MEMS en diamant pour des applications de transduction

Abstract : Diamond material is very promising for future technological applications due to its outstanding physical and chemical properties. In particular, its remarkable mechanical features may be used advantageously for MEMS (Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems) devices development. However, even though several diamond-based MEMS devices have been reported in the literature, the mechanical properties of this material have never been combined to its chemical properties for developing resonating MEMS-based biochemical transducers. Thus, the purpose of this study was to demonstrate the interest of such diamond transducers for chemical or biochemical sensing applications. MEMS devices are indeed attractive because they allow fast, label free and sensitive detection in real time on small volumes due to their miniaturized size. Moreover they offer the possibility to address non electroactive target species which are undetectable using classical electrochemical methods. In this study, we developed specific clean room compatible processes for diamond micro-structuring. The bottom-up approaches undertaken here were based on diamond patterns growth. Hence they avoid time consuming diamond etching steps. These processes allowed fabricating several diamond micro-cantilever transducers over 4-inches substrates. The mechanical characterization of the cantilevers in oscillating regime was performed in order to extract the material Young's modulus E when the structures were made of different polycrystalline diamond qualities. In the best case, a value of E as high as 1100 GPa and very close to the Young's modulus of monocrystalline diamond (1200 GPa) was achieved. In parallel, we verified that both cantilevers resonance frequency and Q-factor were significantly higher than those of identical silicon structures (on average twice higher). This makes diamond mechanical structures more suitable for use in liquid media. In such damping media a very poor sensitivity to mass changes was determined. Nevertheless, their sensitivity to liquid density changes was found to be significant (-3Hz.kg-1.m3). More importantly, by functionalizing diamond micro-cantilevers with caproic acid, an evidence of these transducers high sensitivity to surface molecular interactions was shown. Especially, when charge density variations occurs several tens Hz changes were measured on kHz-range oscillating cantilevers. In this context, a label free DNA sensor was achieved and allowed the specific detection of 24-mer target DNA in real time. In parallel to this work, actuation and boron doped diamond-based readout gauges were integrated to the resonant cantilevers and characterized. They allowed interfacing the cantilevers to a dedicated acquisition electronic prototype developed in the course of this study
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Alexandre Bongrain. Nouvelles technologies de capteurs MEMS en diamant pour des applications de transduction. Autre. Université Paris-Est, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011PEST1005⟩. ⟨tel-00694530⟩

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