Low Cost Organic Gas Sensors on Plastic for Distributed Environmental Monitoring

EPA Grant Number: R830899
Title: Low Cost Organic Gas Sensors on Plastic for Distributed Environmental Monitoring
Investigators: Subramanian, Vivek
Institution: University of California - Berkeley
EPA Project Officer: Hahn, Intaek
Project Period: May 1, 2003 through April 30, 2006
Project Amount: $328,000
RFA: Environmental Futures Research in Nanoscale Science Engineering and Technology (2002) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , Safer Chemicals


The overall objective of this research is to develop novel arrayed gas sensors on plastic that offer extremely high specificity and broad-range detection capability while maintaining low fabrication cost, making them viable for use in distributed environmental monitoring applications, in which cost is an important criterion.


The work will focus on the development of organic transistor-based gas sensors fabricated directly on plastic using inkjet printing. This will be enabled through the extensive use of nanoengineered materials. Interactions between the organic active layer and adsorbed gaseous species will result in a change in transistor characteristics, which will be used to achieve high sensitivity. Differential diagnoses from arrays of variants of the sensors will be used to achieve high specificity. The active layers will consist of inkjet-printed organic semiconductors, enabling massive parallelism of different sensors at low cost. To achieve this low-cost, highly specific sensing, extensive use will be made of nanoengineered materials including nanocrystalline metallic conductors and functionalized oligomer and polymer semiconductors that will be engineered at the molecular scale to achieve high specificity and sensitivity. The entire sensor fabrication process will be performed using environmentally friendly additive manufacturing techniques.

Expected Results:

The direct result of this work will be the development of a low cost gas sensor technology offering high specificity and sensitivity for a wide range of environmentally relevant gaseous species. These sensors will be immediately applicable in the development of distributed environmental monitoring systems at low cost. Initial results indicate that these sensors may also be used for aqueous monitoring as well.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 6 publications for this project

Journal Articles:

Journal Articles have been submitted on this project: View all 1 journal articles for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

electronics, chemicals, toxics, organics, discharge, toxics, indicators., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, Ecosystem Protection/Environmental Exposure & Risk, Sustainable Industry/Business, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, Monitoring/Modeling, Environmental Monitoring, New/Innovative technologies, Engineering, Chemistry, & Physics, Environmental Engineering, geometric catalytic selectivity, environmental measurement, air pollution control, nanotechnology, air pollution, environmental contaminants, nanoparticle catalysts, organic gas sensor, nanocrystals, aerosol analyzers

Progress and Final Reports:

  • 2003 Progress Report
  • 2004 Progress Report
  • Final Report