5th International Symposium on Sensor Science
S2: Sensing in Extreme Conditions
Dr. Meyya Meyyappan
NASA's Ames Research Center, USA
*Nano Sensor Technology for Space Exploration and Societal Applications
Several needs exist for gas/vapor sensing in space exploration: crew cabin air quality monitoring in space vehicles and the International Space Station (ISS), leak detection during launch, planetary atmosphere mapping and others. These gas/vapor sensors have numerous societal applications as well in environmental monitoring, industrial safety, medical diagnostics etc. We have developed 12-32 sensor array chips with single-walled carbon nanotubes and its variations involving functionalization, doping and other schemes and used them to construct an electronic nose. This is the one and only nanotechnology product that has been flown to outer space to date when it was used to monitor formaldehyde and other gases in ISS. We have also modified the workhorse of the gas sensing, the tin oxide CHEMFET sensor, by separating the sensing region (tin oxide) from the current conducting region (silicon nanowires) to increase reliability and lifetime through reduction of electrical stress and to reduce power consumption ideal for mobile applications.
This talk will also present lab-on-a-chip developments for astronaut health monitoring using carbon nanofiber electrodes. This 3x3 sensor array with multiplexing capability has societal applications in point-of-care diagnostics, and data for monitoring three key cardiac markers will be presented. Finally, radiation sensors using conventional silicon FINFET-like structures will be discussed. The novelty here involves the use of radiation-responsive gel as dielectric instead of the SiO2 found in conventional CMOS. This allows construction of a radiation nose consisting of an array of transistors each with a different gel responding to a specific radiation. Preliminary data for gamma ray detection will be presented. The author acknowledges contribution from Ami Hannon, Beomseok Kim, Yijiang Lu, Jing Li, Jessika Koehne, Ram Ghandiraman, Jinwoo Han, Taiuk Rim, Kihyun Kim, Chang Ki Baek and Jeong-soo Lee.