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Solid-State Multiparameter Water Quality Sensors for Performing Robust Hyporheic Zone Measurements

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0020476
Agency Tracking Number: 249690
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 26a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002145
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-02-18
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-02-17
Small Business Information
2800 Dartmouth Avenue
Boulder, CO 80305-5220
United States
DUNS: 124409108
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ross Thomas
 (720) 841-7852
Business Contact
 Ross Thomas
Phone: (720) 841-7852
Research Institution

At the present time, commercially available water quality sensors for temperature, conductivity, pH and oxygen reduction potential do not meet the required performance-to-cost constraints for completing robust, affordable and ultralow power measurements for a broad range of multiparameter monitoring applications; thereby, preventing the large-scale acquisition of key data for: 1) validating new/existing Hydrogeochemical models that provide understanding about the hyporheic zone; 2) supporting decisions needed for growing the US economy by helping increase energy production, minimize global warming and improve human/ecosystem health. Solid-state sensors that integrate and miniaturize multiple water quality transducers together within a low-cost substrate platform will be developed to enable smart, on-site measurements with products having enhanced robustness, affordability and ultralow power capabilities. Microfabrication and assembly methods adapted from the Printed Electronics industry will also be used to improve the mass producibility and reliability of the proposed solid-state devices compared to manual-, labor- and energy-intensive manufacturing of status-quo or conventional) water quality sensors that are currently used for on-site monitoring applications. Phase I R&D objectives will initially focus on the tasks required to design, fabricate and characterize new solid-state microsensors consisting of temperature, conductivity, pH and oxidation reduction potential water quality transducers within a chip-based substrate structure. The proposed devices will consist of new chemically selective and nanoparticle-based thin film composites for enhancing their chemical and mechanical robustness to the target environment. Phase I R&D objectives will then focus on demonstrating the performance capabilities i.e., accuracy, precision, lifetime, etc.) of prototype sensors during exposure to a broad range of simulated wet/dry environmental conditions within a carefully controlled laboratory setting. The proposed solid-state multiparameter sensors will lead to new water quality monitoring products that benefit the US economy as well as the health and wellbeing of all US citizens by enabling important measurement opportunities in the hyporheic zone as well as other growing and/or emerging market segments that include: 1) source/discharge water for power generation; 2) drinking water in distribution/collection systems; 3) agricultural irrigation water.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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