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Monolithically compatible impedance measurement

United States Patent

6,456,096
September 24, 2002
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
A monolithic sensor includes a reference channel and at least one sensing channel. Each sensing channel has an oscillator and a counter driven by the oscillator. The reference channel and the at least one sensing channel being formed integrally with a substrate and intimately nested with one another on the substrate. Thus, the oscillator and the counter have matched component values and temperature coefficients. A frequency determining component of the sensing oscillator is formed integrally with the substrate and has an impedance parameter which varies with an environmental parameter to be measured by the sensor. A gating control is responsive to an output signal generated by the reference channel, for terminating counting in the at least one sensing channel at an output count, whereby the output count is indicative of the environmental parameter, and successive ones of the output counts are indicative of changes in the environmental parameter.
Ericson; Milton Nance (Knoxville, TN), Holcomb; David Eugene (Oak Ridge, TN)
UT-Battelle, LLC (Oak Ridge, TN)
09/ 566,764
May 8, 2000
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This Invention was made with government support under contract DE-AC05-96OR22464, awarded by the United States Department of Energy, and the United States Government has certain rights in this invention.