We report the design, fabrication, and evaluation of a μ-preconcentrator chip that utilizes an array of solid-phase microextraction (SPME) needles coated with in-situ-grown carbon adsorbent film. The structure of the SPME needle (diameter=100 μm, height=250 μm) array inside the sampling chamber was fabricated using a deep reactive-ion etching (DRIE) process to enhance the attachable surface area for adsorbent film. Heaters and temperature sensors were fabricated onto the back of a μ-preconcentrator chip using lithography patterning and a metal lift-off process. The devices were sealed by anodic bonding and diced prior to the application of the adsorbent film. An adsorbent precursor, cellulose was dissolved in water and dynamically coated onto the SPME needle array. The coated cellulose film was converted into a porous carbon film via pyrolysis at 600 °C in a N2 atmosphere. The surface area of the carbon adsorbent film was 308 m2/g, which is higher than that of a commercial adsorbent Carbopack X. A preconcentration factor as high as 13,637-fold was demonstrated using toluene. Eleven volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of different volatilities and functional groups were sampled and analyzed by GC-FID, and the desorption peak widths at half height were all less than 2.6 s after elution from a 15 m capillary GC column. There was no sign of performance degradation after continuous operation for 50 cycles in air.
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