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Miniature sensor suitable for electronic nose applications

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A major research effort has been devoted over the years for the development of chemical sensors for the detection of chemical and explosive vapors. However, the deployment of such chemical sensors will require the use of multiple sensors (probably tens of sensors) in a sensor package to achieve selective detection. In order to keep the overall detector unit small, miniature sensors with sufficient sensitivity of detection will be needed. We report sensitive detection of dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP), a stimulant for the nerve agents, using a miniature sensor unit based on piezoresistive microcantilevers. The sensor can detect parts-per-trillion concentrations of DMMP within 10 s exposure times. The small size of the sensor makes it ideally suited for electronic nose applications.

Published in:

Review of Scientific Instruments  (Volume:78 ,  Issue: 5 )