Highly Novel Detection Approaches to Human Volatile Organic Compound Signature Identification
Agency / Branch:
DOD / USAF
Commercial gas sensors employ a number of different transduction mechanisms depending on the nature and reactivity of the gas and include systems based on optical, electrical and mass detection. Recent advances in gas sensor technology have provided even more sensitivity and are poised to increase the sensor specificity in analysis of complex VOC profiles in compact, low-cost formats. These systems rely on the emerging field of nanostructured chemiresistive sensor arrays composed of conducting polymers, carbon nanotubes and semiconductor oxides as the active material phase which interacts with gas species. Generally, these systems rely on differential changes in the electrical current resulting from grain boundary surface-mediated field perturbations upon exposure to polarizing gases. To this end, Nanohmics proposes a novel detection device, NucleoVolt VOCel sensor array, that meets the requirements for high sensitivity and high selectivity analysis of complex VOC profiles. BENEFIT: The ability to perform rapid, highly sensitive and selective detection of a complex Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) profiles is paramount for applications ranging from acute situational health and safety assessment to suspect/target identification. The ability to multiplex high sensitivity and selectivity in a robust, rechargeable, harsh environment will provide the Air Force with a tool to meet the goal of complex VOC profiling for positive or negative identification of suspects/persons of interest.
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