First-generation hybrid MEMS gas chromatograph

Chia Jung Lu, William H. Steinecker, Wei Cheng Tian, Michael C. Oborny, Jamie M. Nichols, Masoud Agah, Joseph A. Potkay, Helena K.L. Chan, Jeffrey Driscoll, Richard D. Sacks, Kensall D. Wise, Stella W. Pang, Edward T. Zellers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

213 Citations (Scopus)


The fabrication, assembly, and initial testing of a hybrid microfabricated gas Chromatograph (μGC) is described. The μGC incorporates capabilities for on-board calibration, sample preconcentration and focused thermal desorption, temperature-programmed separations, and "spectral" detection with an integrated array of microsensors, and is designed for rapid determinations of complex mixtures of environmental contaminants at trace concentrations. Ambient air is used as the carrier gas to avoid the need for on-board gas supplies. The microsystem is plumbed through an etched-Si/glass microfluidic interconnection substrate with fused silica capillaries and employs a miniature commercial pump and valve subsystem for directing sample flow. The latest performance data on each system component are presented followed by first analytical results from the working microsystem. Tradeoffs in system performance as a function of volumetric flow rate are explored. The determination of an 11-vapor mixture of typical indoor air contaminants in less than 90 s is demonstrated with projected detection limits in the low part-per-billion concentration range for a preconcentrated air-sample volume of 0.25 L.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1123-1131
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Oct
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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