Integrated oxygen/organic light-emitting device sensors

Period of Performance: 09/30/2004 - 05/31/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Integrated Sensor Technologies, Inc.
3138 Sycamore Rd, Suite 208
Ames, IA 50014
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The market for oxygen sensors is extremely large and continues to grow. Millions of medical patients in the U.S. alone require oxygen monitoring every year. Unfortunately, the current oxygen monitoring technology suffers from key drawbacks that limit the potential utility and cost-effectiveness of oxygen sensors for medical uses and many other applications: Electrochemical sensors are slow (response time >1 min), shortlived (a few days), and expensive (about $500). Current luminescence-based sensors are bulky, require trained operators, consume significant power, and are very expensive (about $2000). The overall goal of this multiphase SBIR project is to develop and commercialize a next-generation oxygen sensor designed to eliminate the drawbacks of current technology. As envisioned, the proposed device - based on a modular luminescence-based oxygen sensor structurally integrated with its ultrathin light-source, an organic light-emitting device (OLED) - will be initially about the size of a radiation badge and eventually much smaller, autonomous, fast (about 1 sec response), will consume very little power, and will be inexpensive (ultimately about $50, with an essentially disposable OLED/sensing element module). It will therefore replace the bulky and/or short-lived electrochemical or luminescence-based oxygen sensors that currently serve the very large medical, environmental, biological, food/brewing, and health/safety demands. The proposed integration, which results in strong light coupling and negligible heating of the sensor film or analyte, will demonstrate a new sensor platform especially suitable for heat-sensitive sensors or analytes. This new platform eliminates the need for bulky and/or costly excitation sources, and components such as optical fibers and couplers. Using the proposed platform, miniaturized sensor arrays with "front" and "back" fluorescent detection could ultimately be developed for enhanced versatility and multianalyte detection. In this Phase I SBIR we will demonstrate an integrated OLED/sensing element module with a concentration range of 0 - 100% molecular oxygen, an accuracy of 0.3%, a 2 sec response time, an operating temperature range of 5 - 50 degrees C, and a continuous operating lifetime of 1 month. These benchmarks either meet or exceed those of current bulk (as opposed to trace) oxygen sensors. In Phase II these benchmarks will be improved, and a complete autonomous prototype sensor device will be demonstrated.