Micro-sensors for ambient and indoor air
This work package proposes to extend the current testing of micro-sensors to a scientific and metrological sound validation program.
Commercial gas sensors are currently available for air monitoring. The testing of the performance of these sensors is simplistic, because it aims at defining a minimum number of parameters that describe selectivity, sensitivity and stability. This approach leads to non-reproducible sensor responses when sensors are used at different sampling locations than those used for the testing.
The work activities will focus on defining calibration procedures and on developing a testing protocol that takes into account the phenomena involved in the sensor detection process. These concepts will be validated (including estimation of uncertainty) by exposing micro-sensors to different climate conditions, interferents, etc. in exposure chambers and fine tuned with field experiments in real air matrix. The ultimate objective is to group sensors into a clustered system in order to design a unique solution able to monitor as many as possible air pollutants regulated by Directive 2008/50/EC.
Furthermore, the new emergent graphene technology (Nobel prize for physics in 2010) will be exploited in order to produce a new small-scale gas sensor with very high sensitivity down to a few ppbs of NO2 that represents the low levels of NO2 air quality that need be monitored. The performance of these innovative prototype sensors will be evaluated and compared to that of the existing sensors.