Relative-Air Humidity Sensing Element Based on Heat Transfer of a Single Micromachined Floating Polysilicon Resistor


  • Paulo Zambrozi Jr.
  • Fabiano Fruett



Heat transfer mechanisms, air-humidity sensor, thermal conduction, thermal convection


An air-humidity sensing element based on heat transfer mechanisms (conduction and convection) is presented. The sensing element is a single floating resistor of doped polysilicon, which operates in two phases: thermal actuation and thermal sensing. As thermal actuation, a convenient biasing current is applied to the resistor leading its self-heating by Joule Effect. As thermal sensing, the resistor biasing current is reduced and its Thermal Time Constant (τ) during the cool-down process is measured. Characterization results show that τ is closely related to the air relative humidity (%RH). This sensor presents a maximum power consumption of 5 mW.

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