Nano Cluster Devices Unveils Hydrogen Sensor Prototype

Jun 17, 2005

A new prototype hydrogen sensor has been unveiled by Christchurch, New Zealand, based Nano Cluster Devices Ltd. Hydrogen sensors have many applications in existing industries for leak detection and process control, and could be a key enabler for the emerging 'hydrogen economy'. The global market for hydrogen sensors is already estimated to be several hundred million US dollars per annum.

Hydrogen is an explosive gas that is currently widely used in many industries, and which may become the fuel of the future, replacing fossil fuels. The only emissions from hydrogen powered cars would be water. NCD researchers believe that commercial hydrogen sensors based on their new prototypes will have many advantageous properties, for example, low cost, fast response times, high sensitivity, and low power consumption. These sensors could be used in applications as varied as:

• Detection of impending electrical power transformer failure. There are estimated to be more than 400,000 large power transformers worldwide, each worth ~US$2millon. There is currently great interest from power transmission companies in protecting their multi-billion dollar investments.
• Monitoring Hydrogen concentrations in Fuel Cells
• Leak Detection during transportation and storage of H2
• Industrial Process Gas Monitoring
• Sensing hydrogen buildups in lead acid storage batteries (found in most vehicles).
• Detecting hydrogen leaks during ammonia, methanol manufacturing, and desulphurization of petroleum products along with many other petrochemical applications.

“This is a major step forward for Nano Cluster Devices,” says NCD Chief Scientist Dr Simon Brown “It is a great demonstration of the usefulness of nanowire devices, and in particular the importance of NCD’s technology for producing those devices.”

NCD has patented several methods of self-assembling atomic clusters (or nanoparticles) into nanowires.

Nanotechnology is an emerging field widely seen as having as great an importance as biotechnology and information technology. Nanotechnology will have tremendous impacts in these fields as well as in electronics, medicine and many others. NCD’s self-assembled nanowires can also be used as the key components in transistors or as interconnects between devices on silicon chips. Nanowires therefore have the potential to enable much smaller and faster computers than those possible today.

Next month NCD’s nanowire technology is being showcased to the international semiconductor industry, after selection by a panel of industry experts for the Technology Innovation Showcase (TIS). TIS will be held in conjunction with the SEMICON West conference in San Francisco in July.

Nano Cluster Devices Ltd.

Explore further: Making graphene in your kitchen

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Tiny power generator runs on spit

Apr 03, 2014

Saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cells can produce minute amounts of energy sufficient to run on-chip applications, according to an international team of engineers.

Turning graphite into diamond

Mar 28, 2014

(Phys.org) —A research team led by SLAC scientists has uncovered a potential new route to produce thin diamond films for a variety of industrial applications, from cutting tools to electronic devices to ...

Making synthetic diamond crystals in a plasma reactor

Mar 21, 2014

Synthetic diamond crystals are of interest to many industrial sectors. Their unique properties make them a suitable material for numerous applications including lenses for high-energy laser optics, X-ray ...

Recommended for you

Making graphene in your kitchen

6 minutes ago

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.

Innovative strategy to facilitate organ repair

Apr 18, 2014

A significant breakthrough could revolutionize surgical practice and regenerative medicine. A team led by Ludwik Leibler from the Laboratoire Matière Molle et Chimie (CNRS/ESPCI Paris Tech) and Didier Letourneur ...

'Exotic' material is like a switch when super thin

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Ever-shrinking electronic devices could get down to atomic dimensions with the help of transition metal oxides, a class of materials that seems to have it all: superconductivity, magnetoresistance ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Easter morning delivery for space station

Space station astronauts got a special Easter treat: a cargo ship full of supplies. The shipment arrived Sunday morning via the SpaceX company's Dragon cargo capsule.