The enabling technology needed to catch the integrated “sensing-computing-communicating” economic engine of the early 21st
century is that of environmental sensing. Human exposure to the environment [air, water, food, biologicals] is responsible for a major part of the disease burden of global populations and WHO predicts at least 6M premature deaths this year. A major route of exposure is inhalation and we all breathe the same air, and air pollution sensors that target the EPA priority pollutants of CO, NO2
, Ozone, and SO2
are of increasing importance. One must measure something in order to understand and mitigate its effects and gas sensors do this job. Disruptive technologies, i.e. those that bridge the cost-performance gap, are required to field measurement capability globally. The amperometric gas sensor1,2
is an important contributor to environmental measurement capability. Recent advances have used printed electronics and semiconductor fabrication approaches to enable new commercialization opportunities. The ability to develop new sensor designs and to use advanced materials is key to setting up supply chain capability that has led to ever larger deployments of these sensors for breath/health measurements, environmental measurements, and safety. These new sensors exemplify a path to commercialization for high volume low-cost sensing with potential for high global societal impacts.
1] M. T. Carter, J. R. Stetter, M. W. Findlay and V. Patel, “Printed Amperometric Gas Sensors,” ECS Transactions, 50(12), 211-220 (2012). DOI 10.1149/0512.0211ecst.
2] Joseph R. Stetter and Jing Li, in Modern Topics in Chemical Sensing: Chapter 4, “Amperometric Gas Sensors – A Review,” Chemical Reviews, 108 (2), 2008, pp352-366.