Undergrad Research Project - Nanoparticle Chemiresistive Sensor Modeling

Spring 2009

Kelly Frank
Gary Fedder
Project description

The objective of this research is to develop a model of chemiresistive sensors made from conductive gold nanoparticle materials. Sensitivity to various volatile organic compounds and long-term drift of the output signal will be experimentally characterized. The results will be analyzed and incorporated into a Verilog-A model of the chemiresistor for circuit simulation. Preliminary testing has shown a electrical turn-on drift that exhibits an exponential decay with a time constant on the order of one hour. Driving the sensor with a square-wave modulation voltage allows modification of this behavior. The hypothesis is that with an appropriate predictive model, the electrical drift can be nulled by setting the duty cycle of the modulation appropriately. I will be trained to use an existing chemical testbed in Roberts Hall, and will learn how to program in LabView in order to customize my own test protocols. Ultimately we will attempt to put the sensors in feedback to stabilize the drift, using LabView as the controller. This will be done in collaboration with the Chemistry department, and I will be working with three graduate students working on related topics.

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