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Nanodevice Engineering
for a Better Chemical Gas Sensing Technology

Project Description

BetterSense aims to solve the two main problems in current gas sensor technologies: the high power consumption and the poor selectivity. For the former, we propose a radically new approach: to integrate the sensing components and the energy sources intimately, at the nanoscale, in order to achieve a new kind of sensor concept featuring zero power consumption. For the latter, we will mimic the biological receptors designing a kit of gas-specific molecular organic functionalizations to reach ultra-high gas selectivity figures, comparable to those of biological processes. Both cutting-edge concepts will be developed in parallel an integrated together to render a totally new gas sensing technology that surpasses the state-of-the-art.

As a matter of fact, the project will enable, for the first time, the integration of gas detectors in energetically autonomous sensors networks. Additionally, BetterSense will provide an integral solution to the gas sensing challenge by producing a full set of gas-specific sensors over the same platform to ease their integration in multi-analyte systems. Moreover, the project approach will certainly open opportunities in adjacent fields in which power consumption, specificity and nano/micro integration are a concern, such as liquid chemical and biological sensing.

In spite of the promising evidences that demonstrate the feasibility of this proposal, there are still many scientific and technological issues to solve, most of them in the edge of what is known and what is possible today in nano-fabrication and nano/micro integration. For this reason, BetterSense also aims to contribute to the global challenge of making nanodevices compatible with scalable, cost-effective, microelectronic technologies.

An ERC Starting Grant Project