March 27, 2006 – Applied Nanotech Inc., a subsidiary of Nano-Proprietary Inc., Austin, TX, has developed a new carbon monoxide gas sensor based on a “gated bias” metal oxide semiconductor.
The technology uses an electronic gate bias to enhance the surface energy of the reaction, instead of using heat for the metal oxide sensor operation. Change in surface energy can be manipulated by sweeping the gate bias; the gate bias also assists in transportation of electrons through the sensor, producing facile detection and measurement.
Traditional metal-oxide semiconductor sensors typically are high-power, and need to be made using high-temperature and often fragile materials that can sustain operating surface temperatures of 250-600 degrees Celsius, the company explained. Electrochemical detectors, meanwhile, don’t work between the range of 0-100 degrees Celsius, and do not show a reliable response below 30ppm.