A sensor chip has been designed and tested that uses a MEMS strip heater as both source and detector of infrared radiation. An optical cavity reflects infrared radiation back onto the source filament. Changes in reflected light intensity modify heater temperature, and the measured signal is a change in resistance. The effects of processing on electrical and thermal isolation were characterized and used to evaluate device performance. Thermally isolated, uniformly heated emitters are achieved using a backside release etch process. The fully released devices demonstrated superior electric to thermal-optical conversion, with the requisite narrow band emission for CO2 detection. Using these sensor-chips, CO2 detection was demonstrated, with projected sensitivities ≤0.1%.