Nanosensors – foundation for digital nose

  In the Moscow Institute of Electronic Engineering work on chemical sensors based on nanomaterials was launched in 2006. Then the first results of the sensitivity to chlorine and ammonia (two molecules of chlorine per million molecules of air - 2ppm). During his time were implemented several designs of sensors. In particular, gradually came to understand that despite the somewhat worse sensitivity to very small concentrations of gases under study, using a grid of nanotubes can improve response time.To date, other than the nanotubes under investigation on the use of other nanomaterials, and mixtures thereof. In particular, cause a lot of hope on the hyperfine sensors (about 10 atomic layers), a mixture of graphite and carbon nanotubes to nanofibers ZnO (thick film ZnO ¬ - the traditional material to create).The results of the sensors shown at several Russian and international conferences (the last in Cambridge in the summer of 2011) and exhibitions.We develop techniques to increase the sensitivity and selectivity of the developed sensors. Work is underway to improve the design of sensors themselves, and sensitivity and, importantly, selectivity. Developed by small-sized device, which sensor is installed.

 Gas sensors (sensors) on the basis of nanomaterials represent a new direction in the development of devices that can smell.Now for the analysis of ambient air for the presence of any gases and volatile aromatic compounds (the latter are bound to have a smell, perceived human receptor) used sensors based on metal oxides (oxides of tin, zinc, etc.). However, such sensors have a global defect manifested in the fact that they can provide the same or similar quality signal on a completely different matter. It is to solve this problem now, many research teams are working around the world. Nanotechnology, to be exact materials of nanoscale objects can play a crucial role. The main goal pursued by scientists, is to create an electronic analog of the human nose. At the current stage of research, we believe that the end result, which should result in our activities, will be an analog of the matrix of modern cameras, but consisting of a set of sensors that absorb the smell. The great thing about this approach is that such a matrix will feel including substances that have no odor. In addition, it will be possible to determine numerically the concentration of substances present in the analyzed air.Application of chemical sensors can be found in various fields of science and technology. Gas leak detectors are primarily used in the chemical industries. Sensors ammonia, chlorine, etc. plants can be directly applied in addition to the transport for monitoring emissions and collecting data about the accident. When man-made accidents, emergency chemical sensors can help to map the pollution, but also - perhaps detect leaks of any other substances that may enhance the negative effects of the accident. 

Another application - environmental monitoring, at least in major cities. Preparation of detailed maps of pollution, including those not detected by the means at the disposal of man today. Sensors may find application in the military, for example, to detect explosives or saboteurs-saboteurs. In counter-terrorism operations and the search for drugs may also be useful ultrasensitive gas analyzers.There are also recreational use (although such systems from many sensors, which were discussed above), such as the removal and recording of data about smells in the filming of the film (of course, necessary to the plot). Given the proliferation of so-called 4 and 5-D cinema (which passed jolting sensation, etc.) the appearance of these additional olfactory measurements can give a new experience in the field of virtual reality. The same applies to computer games, educational programs (such as digital aids in chemistry, environmental benefits and life safety). Only part of the above applications is enough to realize the usefulness of chemical sensors and the need for the creation and improvement.