IIsc Researchers Develop Low-Cost, Sensitive CO Sensor (Download PDF)

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Indian Institute of Science (IISc) researchers developed a highly sensitive, low cost miniature nanometre-scale carbon monoxide (CO) sensor for pollution monitoring using novel fabrication technique not involving costly lithography technology.

Fabrication Process Flow

Why is CO Monitoring Essential?

  • CO is a colorless, odorless gas found in fumes of cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people breathing it.
  • Breathing CO reduces amount of oxygen transported in the blood stream to critical organs like the heart and brain
  • Common symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Breathing in a lot of CO can cause unconsciousness and death.
  • People sleeping often die from CO poisoning before any symptoms.
  • Infants, elderly and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more at risk.

About the New Technology

  • IISC՚s nanometer sensor made using zinc-oxide (ZnO) nanostructure on a silicon wafer substrate.
  • Tiny polystyrene beads added on the oxidised silicon wafer arrange themselves into hexagonal close-packed structure.
  • The nanometre CO sensor is sensitive to CO changes of even 500 parts per billion (ppb) and can selectively respond to CO even in the presence of other gases.
  • The new sensor cuts down the time and cost involved in making nanostructured gas sensors.

- Published/Last Modified on: September 4, 2017

Science/Technology

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