Chemiresistor Microsensors for Environmental Monitoring SystemsEPA Contract Number: 68D99043
Title: Chemiresistor Microsensors for Environmental Monitoring Systems
Investigators: Thomas, Ross C.
Small Business: Eltron Research & Development Inc.
EPA Contact: Manager, SBIR Program
Project Period: September 1, 1999 through March 1, 2000
Project Amount: $69,995
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) - Phase I (1999) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration , SBIR - Monitoring , Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
Description:This Phase I project addresses the development of chemiresistor microsensors for improving the performance of field-deployable monitors that are being developed at Eltron Research to detect hazardous air pollutants. Microsensor-based systems having enhanced capabilities and reduced cost are desirable for detecting environmental pollutants and common industrial solvents because identifying chemical hazards is essential for industrial health and safety reasons. Portable chemical sensor systems have growing roles in environmental cleanup and monitoring as well as evaluating potential health concerns in the workplace. They must respond with application-dependent sensitivity, selectivity, reversibility, speed, and longevity to a desired analyte. In addition, the sensor component must consume minimal power and volume while being manufacturable from inexpensive materials using economical batch methods. The application of chemiresistor microsensors for detecting hazardous air pollutants is attractive because sensitive, low-cost devices can be mass-produced with standard fabrication methods found in semiconductor processing facilities. Moreover, multiple pollutants can be measured simultaneously by using an array of devices with pattern recognition methods. Research to be performed during Phase I will address the development of novel chemiresistor microsensors for detecting a wide range of volatile organic compounds.
Successful completion of the proposed project will enable reliable, low-cost detection of volatile organic compounds by developing advanced chemiresistor microsensors, which are fully integratable with indoor air quality and/or environmental gas monitors. Specific areas of application include industrial facilities, hospitals, automobiles, homes, or wherever the presence of organic vapors must be monitored and/or controlled.