Project TitleChemical Sensors for Detecting Hydrogen and Volatile Organic Compounds (07073)
Track Code07073
Short Description

The University of Louisville is seeking a company interested in commercializing novel chemical sensors for detecting Hydrogen and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Detection of these gasses is important for many applications, ranging from alternative fuel production to medicine to public safety and environmental pollution. This novel device is capable of detecting hydrogen down to 800 ppm as well as volatile organic compounds including but not limited to ethanol, methanol, propanol, acetone, and toluene down to 30 ppm with fast, reversible responses. Additionally, the device is simple and inexpensive to construct.

- Energy Production (detecting hydrogen or methanol from fuel cells)
- Detecting Environmental Pollutants
- Homeland Security (detecting explosive vapors)
- Medical Diagnostics (detecting exhaled air as an indicator of diabetes, lung cancer, etc.)
- Law Enforcement (use in breathalyzers)

- Low cost mass-production can be achieved due to simple construction
- Low power consumption (battery operation)
- Very high sensitivity and selectivity sensors are capable of fast response, reproducibility, and stability 



The sensor is comprised of two or more electrodes affixed to an electrically insulating support with a chemiresistant film comprised of coated metal alloy nanoparticles deposited between the electrodes. Through the use of Pd and Pd alloy nanoparticles coated with organic monolayers, conductivity of the chemiresistant film is quickly increased following exposure to Hydrogen or VOCs. The possibility to tailor the organic shell and the metal composition in the nanoparticle films opens new avenues in the field of nanotechnology; specifically in the storage and detection of environmental gases.

U.S. patents 8153439 and 8168438

For more information, or to discuss sponsored or collaborative research and development opportunities, please contact:

Office of Technology Transfer


Tagsengineering, chemistry
Posted DateMay 18, 2010 4:37 PM


File Name Description
07073 Hydrogen and VOC sensor Marketing Abstract.pdf None Download
VOC sensor PCT application.pdf None Download
Hydrogen sensor PCT application.pdf None Download
image.jpg None Download