Self-cleaning hydrogen sensors may soon join the ranks of self-cleaning ovens, self-cleaning windows and self-cleaning public toilets, according to Penn State researchers.
FESEM images of the titania nanotube array prepared using an anodization potential of 10 V, top view
Credit: Penn State, Craig Grimes
"The photocatalytic properties of titania nanotubes are so large -- a factor of 100 times greater than any other form of titania -- that sensor contaminants are efficiently removed with exposure to ultraviolet light, so that the sensors effectively recover or retain their original hydrogen sensitivity in real world application," says Dr. Craig A. Grimes, associate professor of electrical engineering and materials science and engineering.
Previous research showed that titania nanotubes at room temperature have a completely reversible electrical resistance change of about 100,000,000 percent when exposed to 1000 parts per million of hydrogen. These nanotube sensors can monitor hydrogen levels from parts per billion to about 4 percent, the explosive limit.
A’ndrea Elyse Messer | Penn State
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