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Chemical sensors for portable, handheld field instruments

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5 Author(s)
Wilson, D.M. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Washington Univ., Seattle, WA, USA ; Hoyt, S. ; Janata, Jiri ; Booksh, Karl
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A review of three commonly used classes of chemical sensor technologies as applicable to implementation in portable, handheld field instruments is presented. Solid-state gas and chemical sensors have long been heralded as the solution to a wide variety of portable chemical sensing system applications. However, advances in optical sensing technology have reduced the size of supporting infrastructure to be competitive with their solid-state counterparts. Optical, solid-state, and hybrid arrays of sensors have application for portable instruments, but issues of insufficient selectivity and sensitivity continue to hamper the widespread introduction of these miniaturized sensors for solving chemical sensing problems in environments outside the laboratory. In this article, we evaluate three of the major classes of compact chemical sensors for portable applications: (solid-state) chemiresistors, (solid-state) CHEMFETs, and (optical) surface plasmon resonance sensors (SPR). These sensors are evaluated and reviewed, according to the current state of research, in terms of their ability to operate at low-power, small-size, and relatively low-cost in environments, with numerous interferents and variable ambient conditions

Published in:

Sensors Journal, IEEE  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 4 )