Undergrad Research Project - Control and test of switched capacitor electronics for a gas chemical sensor

Fall 2011

Zhaotao Xu
Gary Fedder
Project description

Over the course of the past summer, I have been designing and building a prototype testing circuit for chemical capacitive sensors. My next step will be to implement the circuit on a single printed circuit board (PCB) to perform the same function. The board is intended to have a lower limit of detection than the prior prototype due to the integrated wiring that is intended to minimize external noise coupling. The resulting system will be more portable and accessible for demo purposes for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), who is one potential user of the testing board. The board will consist of components based on the freely available layout for an Arduino microcontroller as well as additional logic to create the correct clock signals from inputs generated by microcontrollers. Once the board has been successfully built and verified, I will test it with an actual chemical sensor so that this board could be used for real-situation demonstration and testing. The board will generate the same control signals as the prior prototype, but with less noise. Through this process, I am expecting to learn how to design a PCB and how to test and debug it.

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