An Advanced NEMS Based Micro Gas Analyzer for Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCA)
Small Business Information
1158 Norumbega Drive, Monrovia, CA, 91016
AbstractOur objective is to design and build a breadboard NEMS based gas analyzer which is hand held, field portable, highly efficient, rugged, with an integrated detection and identification system for stand-off detection and analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). This proposed device, VOCA, will detect VOCs of interest at ppm to sub-ppb levels within 5 seconds. Detection levels are better than those of mass spectrometry over a large range of chemicals without the need for a complicated, bulky vacuum system. This novel micro gas analyzer, VOCA will be based on a Nano Electro-Mechanical Systems (NEMS) implementation consisting of a chip-based ultra-fast Gas Chromatograph and a highly sensitive array of micro-cantilevers for mass analysis The application of NEMS technology for the development of this gas analyzer provides a nano scale device with extremely small active masses, excellent retention of energy coupled with the ability to carry out high speed operations. This NEMS based micro cantilever system has shown the ability to detect chemical and biological agents with great precision (10-21 gm) allowing for the detection of a broad range of molecular species. This ability to detect trace masses make micro resonators ideal for use in detection applications including those relating to national security and defense. public health and safety, medical research and diagnostics as well as other applications depending on quick portable analysis capability. The emergence of such NEMS mass-sensing devices, like the one proposed here, will blur the conventional distinction between inertial mass sensing and mass spectrometry, and offer revolutionary prospects for cheap, ultra-compact, low-power instrumentation and sensors. BENEFIT: The ability to detect trace masses make micro resonators ideal for use in detection applications including those relating to national security and defense. public health and safety, medical research and diagnostics as well as other applications depending on quick portable analysis capability. Once developed the VOCS sensor system will be proposed to all of the preceeding areas of application.
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