SBIR Phase I: Ultra Low-power, Photoenabled Gas Sensors for Mobile Devices based Industrial Monitoring

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

N5 Sensors, Inc.
9610 Medical Center Dr. #200
Rockville, MD 20850
Principal Investigator, Firm POC


The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is in various applications requiring real-time detection of toxic, explosive, and other harmful chemicals in a variety of environments. This innovative chemical sensor technology promises single-chip multianalyte sensors with significant cost savings resulting from enhanced performance, reliability, and lifetime. Developing ultra-small chemical detectors capable of detecting various toxic and hazardous chemicals in air reliably is essential in safeguarding individuals and communities. Such ultra-small multianalyte detectors could save lives of industrial workers and fire-fighters by making them more aware of their dangerous surrounding. Also next-generation of cloud-based, crowd-sourced, large-area sensor networks for urban monitoring can protect our communities from terrorist attacks. The diversity of potential industrial, environmental, and safety monitoring applications ensures sustainable growth paths in various domestic and international gas detection markets. The scientific component of this project will enhance the understanding of the complex processes occurring at the surfaces of these novel multicomponent nanoclusters, which could have profound impact in various other fields including photovoltaic, energy storage, and catalytic pollution-remediation. This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will demonstrate single-chip ammonia (NH3) and carbon monoxide (CO) sensors using patent-pending innovation in multicomponent photocatalytic nanocluster-based hybrid sensor technology. Both NH3 and CO are toxic industrial chemicals with very serious health hazards, and often present in various industrial, farming, agricultural, and transportation related activities. High-performance mobile devices used in various operational situations represent a powerful infrastructure which could be leveraged for chemical monitoring. Due to their size and power requirement, traditional sensors are not suitable for mobile-platform deployment. Single-chip, ultra low-power selective detection of NH3 and CO will be a significant accomplishment towards the goal of development of mobile devices based multithreat monitors that can be used by industrial workers, civilians, first-responders, and soldiers for both personal safety and infrastructural security.