|TITLE||Development of Ultrafast H2 Sensors that Requires No Additional Electrical Apparatus|
By imitating the antennae of insects, ultrafast H2 sensors that requires no additional electrical apparatus was developed.
The new sensors that realizes high hydrogen detection performance and safety simultaneously can be widely applied from precise measuring equipment to simple leak alarms, so it is expected to have a great ripple effect across the industry and households in the future.
Hydrogen is used as an essential material in many industries such as petroleum, chemical, and steel, and its usage is increasing every year in everyday life. However, the use of a hydrogen leak detection system is essential because it can explode easily even when the concentration exceeds only 4% in the air. An existing commercialized hydrogen sensors such as electrochemical sensor, catalytic sensor, acoustic sensor, ceramic sensor and semiconductor sensor require additional apparatus such as display and speaker. These also requires a power supply for hydrogen detection, which increases the risk of explosion when hydrogen is leaked.
In order to overcome these limitations, sensors that use optical signals instead of electrical signals and make it possible to detect the leakage of hydrogen visually have been developed. However, because these are usually based on chemical reactions between hydrogen and reactive materials, response time is slow. In addition, since these have irreversible characteristics at room temperature, the possibility of actual commercialization is very low.
In order to develop a hydrogen sensor with high sensitivity and high response rate without the need for power, the researchers developed a nano/microactuators that changes its shape in response to hydrogen by imitating the antenna structure of insects. This nano/microactuators is made by coating palladium on the flexible polymer asymmetrically, and hydrogen gas stimulation can be detected with visually without additional display and power supply by maximizing the changes in the optical characteristics of the dev ice due to changes in the shape of the nano/microactuators by hydrogen.
Furthermore, the researchers developed a new type of hydrogen sensors such as wetting-controllable H2-selective smart surfaces, a hydrogen sensitive locking device capable of controlling adhesion by hydrogen.
The results of this research can be applied not only to existing industries such as petroleum, chemical, steel, but also to everyday life such as hydrogen stations, hydrogen vehicles, and fuel cell distributed generation systems. Especially, because of its distinguishable advantage such as non-power source, non-explosive, ultrasensitive, its high demand is expected with the explosive growth of the hydrogen fuel cell market. Also the factor that it is produced at low cost compared with existing hydrogen sensors although it requires no additional electrical apparatus and makes it possible to detect a hydrogen the naked eye is competitiveness both at home and abroad.
Meanwhile, this study was supported by middle-grade researcher leap business and leading research center business of Ministry of Science and ICT, and it was selected as an online edition cover paper of 'Advanced Functional Materials, Impact Factor = 12.124)'.
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