There remains a strong need for miniaturized, low power gas sensors that can be deployed in wireless applications for improved environmental protection, health and safety. Aerogels have attracted significant attention in recent years due to their extremely low density, high surface area, low thermal conductivity, weak dielectric permittivity, and high stability. For gas sensing applications, two-dimensional materials offer the highest possible surface area for gas interaction, leading to high sensitivity. However, when materials are integrated into a sensor device, the surface area is limited by the device footprint. Assembling 2D sheets into 3D assemblies, like aerogels, provides a low-density material with large number of interconnected pores that increases the surface area available in a given footprint while maintaining the properties of the few-layer sheets. The range of their pore sizes and interconnectedness are optimal for the transport of small molecules through the interior space, which are needed in sensor application. Many existing gas sensors, especially ones that require heated sensing materials, are bulky or have a large power consumption that prevent the use of portable power sources like batteries. Miniaturization of gas sensors through the use of microfabricated heaters has been one successful way of improving the power and size requirements. Herein, we are developing 2-D materials-based aerogel on low-power microheater for high performance gas sensor applications.
Project end date: 01/23/19