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Structured adsorbent films for volatile organic compound sensing (SAVOS)

Detecting and monitoring vapors and gases is a challenge with a broad range of applications, including air quality monitoring, checking food freshness, and breath analysis for disease diagnosis. The interest in high-performance, compact and affordable devices currently drives the growth of the gas sensor market. In contrast, established sensor technologies suffer from limited lifetimes, low selectivities or sensitivities, or bulky and expensive designs. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are microporous crystalline materials built up from metal ion nodes connected by organic ligands. Since MOFs are high-affinity and, in some cases, highly selective adsorbents for analytes from air, they could enable high-performance sensors. One powerful, yet underexplored route to realize MOF-based sensors is via the transduction of work function changes. Although initial investigations illustrated ppb-level detection for selected MOF-analyte combinations, the underlying principles are poorly understood. In addition, to realize actual sensors, high-quality MOF films need to be deposited in a way that is compatible with cleanroom fabrication. The SAVOS project addresses both the challenges in understanding and fabrication in an integrated approach. Although the project focuses on fundamentals and not the detection of a specific analyte, the lessons learned are of direct value in applied follow-up projects.
Date:1 Oct 2020  →  Today
Keywords:Adsorbents, Microporous materials, Metal-organic framework, Thin films, Volatile organic compounds, Gas sensors, Microfabrication
Disciplines:Chemical aspects of sensor technology , Surface engineering, Surface and interface chemistry