A new approach to gas sensing with nanotechnology
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Nanosized gas sensor elements are potentially faster, require lower power, come with a lower limit of detection, operate at lower temperatures, obviate the need for expensive catalysts, are more heat shock resistant and might even come at a lower cost than their macro-counterparts. In the last two decades, there have been important developments in two key areas that might make this promise a reality. First is the development of a variety of very good performing nanostructured metal oxide
... metal oxide semiconductors (MOSs), the most commonly used materials for gas sensing; and second are advances in very low power loss miniaturized heater elements. Advanced nano-or micro-nanogas sensors have attracted much attention owing to a variety of possible applications. In this article, we first discuss the mechanism underlying MOS-based gas sensor devices, then we describe the advances that have been made towards MOS nanostructured materials and the progress towards low-power nano-and microheaters. Finally, we attempt to design an ideal nanogas sensor by combining the best nanomaterial strategy with the best heater implementation. In this regard, we end with a discussion of a suspended carbon nanowirebased gas sensor design and the advantages it might offer compared with other more conventional gas sensor devices.