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NanoTechnology: Materials, Processes & Devices

BPN762: Microheater-Based Platform for Low Power Combustible Gas Sensing

Project ID BPN762
Start Date Tue 2014-Aug-12 15:48:44
Last Updated Fri 2015-Aug-21 09:28:37
Abstract 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 ~10 mW of power required to reach operation temperatures using platinum nanoparticles on a graphene aerogel support. Propane sensing using platinum nanoparticles on a boron nitride support has been achieved with 15 mW for continuous heating, with no loss in sensitivity during 10% duty cycling of the heater, which brings the power consumption to 1.5 mW with data still being collected once per second. Methane detection is the next target gas, but preliminary tests with the current platform indicate that higher heater temperatures may be needed.
Status Continuing
Funding Source NSF
IAB Research Area NanoTechnology: Materials, Processes & Devices
Researcher(s) Anna Harley-Trochimczyk
Advisor(s) Roya Maboudian, Alex Zettl
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