Indian Scientists have evolved a nanorods-based oxygen sensor that operates at room temperature with the assistance of UV irradiation and can discover oxygen gas concentrations in places like higher altitudes, inside airplanes, underground mines, and research labs.
Monitoring O2 concentration in very low ppm-level is of supreme significance, and a fast and particular oxygen sensor operating at room temperature can save lives in places like underground mines, higher altitudes and upgrade the accuracy of many experiments being regulated in research labs.
A team of scientists led by Dr. S. Angappane, a Scientist at the Centre for Nano and Soft Matter Sciences (CeNS), an autonomous research institute under the Department of Science & Technology, Government of India, have fabricated a metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) nanorods array-based oxygen sensor which operates at room temperature with assistance of UV irradiation and can discover broad ppm range of oxygen gas concentrations. They used titanium oxide for the determination and work, demanding Hiran Jyothilal, Gaurav Shukla, Sunil Walia, and Bharath SP led by Dr. S. Angappane, published in the journal Materials Research Bulletin.
The team examined that the sensor offers the best sensitivity with low power consumption and functions at room temperature. The fabricated sensors revealed response and recovery times of around 3 sec and 10 sec, respectively, at 1000 ppm. The sensor function in oxygen concentrations ranging from 25 ppm to 10 lakh ppm (100%) with good stability. The superior sensing property is assigned to the added to electrical conductivity, excitons (combination of an electron and a positive hole) created, and desorption of water molecules (released through the surface) from the sensor surface by UV irradiation, ease in increased interaction of oxygen molecules with chromium incorporated in titanium dioxide slanted nanorods array present in the sensor.
The CeNS team is further working on miniaturizing the sensor and its electronics interfacing with other gas sensors to fabricate a suitable electronic nose.