Research Interests: My research interest lies in chemical sensing and the challenges in creating a sensitive, selective, and stable sensor. My current focus is on the development of low power microheater-based combustible gas sensing. Using novel catalyst materials like Pt nanoparticle-functionalized graphene aerogels and Pt nanoparticle-functionalized boron-nitride aerogels, we have shown good performance for hydrogen gas detection. A doped polysilicon microheater is encapsulated in a silicon nitride membrane and can reach 350 C with a power of only 10 mW. Catalyst material is then deposited from solution. When the combustible gas contacts the heated catalyst, exothermic reaction releases heat, which increase the temperature of the micro heater and changes the resistance.Job Interests: Industry, R&D, New product development
Anna Harley-Trochimczyk is a PhD Candidate with Prof. Roya Maboudian in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UC Berkeley. She graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with an emphasis in nanotechnology. Her research interests lie in chemical sensing, and the application of chemistry and materials science to smarter chemical sensor development. She has a strong interest in technology commercialization, and in the last year, was the Entrepreneurial Lead for a team in the NSF Innovation Corps program. She hopes to work in industry on the development of new chemical sensors and new applications for chemical sensors.
Microheater-Based Platform for Low Power Chemical Sensing [BPN762]
Accurate detection of flammable gases is essential for safe operation of many industrial processes. Installing networks of combustible gas monitors in industrial settings can allow for rapid leak detection and increased safety and environmental protection. However, existing combustible gas monitors are not suitable for use in wireless sensor networks due to the high power consumption. We have developed an ultra-low power combustible gas sensor with competitive sensitivity and lifetime characteristics that will enable ubiquitous wireless monitoring of combustible gases in industrial settings, resulting in enhanced safety. The core technology is a suspended microheater coated with a novel nanotechnology-based sensing material that catalyzes hydrocarbon combustion. Hydrogen gas sensing has been demonstrated with only a few mW of power required to reach operation temperatures. Ongoing research includes improving sensing material deposition and stability and tailoring the sensing materials for hydrocarbon specificity.