Multiplex detection array with anchored derivatization for environmental monitori

Period of Performance: 08/01/2014 - 07/31/2015


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nanohmics, Inc.
6201 E. Oltorf Street Suite 400
Austin, TX 78741
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION: Complex, multi-analyte vapor analysis is routinely achieved using laboratory tools such as gas chromatography combined with mass spectrometry (GC-MS). However, these systems are not readily configurable for compact, low- concentration, near real-time environmental tracking of vapors (e.g. a wearable data logging badge), which is a stated technology development goal of the National Institute of Environmental Health and Safety (NIEHS). To address this need, Nanohmics Inc., an early-stage technology development company (Austin, TX) is currently developing OmniScense detection technology, a low profile, vapor-phase environment analysis device for monitoring air quality and toxicity at levels that are pertinent to environmental health and safety. Prototype OmniScensor devices developed to date have been used to identify and quantify common solvents and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) via direct electrical detection with chemiresistive metal oxide semiconductor (MOx) arrays patterned using the method of NanoImprint Lithography (NIL). This approach provides greater vapor component selectivity and quantification capabilities over a large concentration dynamic range by controlling the dimensions of the sensor element at the nanoscale. Dimensional control is not readily achieved with existing commercial MOx thin films, or with research platforms based on composite transducers (e.g. nanowires, nanotubes, metal nanoparticles and graphene). In addition to sensor feature size control, further surface derivatization will provide a means to discriminate chemically similar vapor species (e.g. nonpolar toluene, xylene and hexane), thereby enabling complex analysis across the broad set of chemical functionality ranging from highly polarizing carrier acceptors/donators to nonpolar volatile gases/organics.