An innovative carbon monoxide gas sensor

An innovative method to build gas sensors that can determine carbon monoxide concentrations. (Credit: OIST)

Researchers from Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University and University of Toulouse have found an innovative method to build gas sensors that can determine carbon monoxide (CO) concentrations.

Copper oxide nanowires are used to build the sensors. These nanomaterials chemically react with CO and the electrical signals are used to quantify CO concentrations.

“To create copper oxide nanowires, you need to heat neighbouring copper microstructures. Starting from the microstructures, the nanowires grow and bridge the gap between the microstructures, forming an electrical connection between them,” Dr Steinhauer explained. “We integrated copper microstructures on a micro-hotplate, developed by the University of Toulouse. A micro-hotplate is a thin membrane that can heat up to several hundred Celsius degrees, but with very low power consumption.” The micro-hotplate helps scientists to achieve a high degree of control over copper oxide nanowires.

The sensor obtained using this method is highly sensitive and capable of detecting very low concentrations of CO. “Potentially, miniaturized CO sensors that integrate copper oxide nanowires with micro-hotplates are the first step towards the next generation of gas sensors,” Prof Sowwan commented.

This method grows copper oxide nanowires in a controlled atmosphere where sensing measurements could be performed immediately after that.

More information can be found at:
Local CuO Nanowire Growth on Microhotplates: In Situ Electrical Measurements and Gas Sensing Application

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