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Real-Time Ethylene Sensor Based on Chemical Anisotropic Nanochannel Impedance Spectroscopy, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

NASA has need of a real-time sensor capable of <25ppb detection of ethylene for off-world greenhouse monitoring. NanoLab proposes the use of a fundamentally new style of sensor based off of anisotropic impedance analysis of vertically aligned nanotube arrays (VANTA). Specifically, we propose the use of chemical anisotropic nanochannel impedance spectroscopy (CANIS). This style of sensor provides up to eight degrees of analytical freedom, resulting in extreme discrimination between chemical species without requiring modification of the sensor to provide selectivity. For the particular application of ethylene sensing, NanoLab proposes the use of a carbon nanotube based CANIS sensor, sensitized to improve the interaction of ethylene with the surface, using either a metal or metal organic coating, in order to lower the limit of detection. The sensor will be self-referencing to minimize drift, and will be capable of simultaneously monitoring other relevant species, such as water, ethanol, acetaldehyde, and ammonia without interference to the detection of ethylene. The sensor will be lightweight, and have a footprint of 1cm x 1cm. More »

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