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SBIR Phase I: Miniaturized, Low-Power Monitor for Particulate Matter

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1549413
Agency Tracking Number: 1549413
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: CT
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2016
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2016-01-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-06-30
Small Business Information
2374 Fosgate Avenue, Santa Clara, CA, 95050
DUNS: 079841440
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 David Woolsey
 (510) 316-4166
Business Contact
 David Woolsey
Phone: (510) 316-4166
Research Institution
This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will investigate the feasibility of a miniaturized, battery-powered, and inexpensive sensor to provide real-time mass measurements of airborne particulate matter (PM). PM is one of the leading global risks for mortality. There is an urgent need for inexpensive devices that monitor PM pollutants such as diesel exhaust, combustion sources, environmental tobacco smoke, power plant emissions, and nanoparticles. The proposed technology has important societal impacts by enabling those seeking to improve air quality in the environment, home, and workplace. The PM mass monitor provides a compelling value proposition by offering stand-alone operation, direct measurement of PM mass, and at least an order of magnitude reduction in size, power, and cost in comparison to existing aerosol monitors. Markets for the instrument include ventilation control, industrial hygiene, power plant monitoring, cabin monitoring in aircraft and automobiles, internet of things (IOT) applications, and indoor air quality monitoring. The 2015 worldwide addressable market for the technology is over $200 million annually. The intellectual merit of this project is in leveraging the thermophoretic deposition of particulates from a sample stream onto a thin-film bulk acoustic wave resonator (FBAR), and the determination of the mass deposited by measuring the frequency shift of an electronic oscillator. Successful completion of this work will improve the sensitivity and stability of the FBAR detector, demonstrate transformative techniques to collect and analyze PM, reduce the monitor size and power consumption, and improve the interface electronics. The anticipated technical results include an improvement in the level of detection and a reduction in power consumption and form factor of the sensor. This project will contribute to scientific knowledge and understanding by investigating novel PM collection techniques and enabling a highly-sensitive, portable, and low-cost particulate matter mass monitor suitable for environmental monitoring and epidemiological studies of aerosol exposure. Coupling the sensor to a cell-phone or other wireless device could enable dense temporal and spatial wireless measurements of air quality as well as personal exposure assessment.

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

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