Nano-structured micro-power smart gas sensors

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Engineering


The project aims to develop a new generation of smart silicon-based chemical sensors using advanced nano-materials as gas sensitive layers. Compared to current commercial solid-state gas sensors, these new sensors will offer ultra low power consumption (below 1 mW), a superior sensitivity to gases (by one order of magnitude), full CMOS compatibility and low unit cost for high-volume markets. We will study the properties of different nano-materials, such as doped CNTs, ZnO nanowires, and mesoporous WO3. We will increase their selectivity to pollutant gases and minimise the microhotplate area to enable ultra low power consumption by operating dynamically at temperatures of up to 750 degC. The project focuses upon a technology platform that combines novel nano-materials with SOI CMOS microelectronics and post-CMOS micromachining. The environmentally important gases of H2, NH3, O3, CO2, NO2, and will be targeted as well as volatile hydrocarbons (e.g. benzene in BTEX).


10 25 50