Dr. Pierre-Alexandre Gross (postdoc, BioE), Dr. Ehsan Sadeghipour (postdoc, BioE), Prof. Beth Pruitt, BioE and ME (PI)
There is great need in many industries for a distributed network of chemical sensors that can provide continuous environmental monitoring. To enable such a distributed network, we have built a chemical sensor that is selective to chemicals of interest (especially methane), capable of detecting different gases, while simultaneously being inexpensive and not requiring a lot of energy to power. Our microfabricated device uses an electrochemical detection principle, and relies on the characteristic redox potential of each chemical species as it undergoes an oxidation or reduction reaction after adsorption on the surface. We have prototyped sensors, integrated them with test chambers, and have shown the successful detection of CO and methane. These electrochemical Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) sensors are also capable of detecting other hazardous gases, such as H2S, NOx, and H2.