The fiber-optic chemical sensing platform couples light guides with a metal-organic framework (MOF) and plasmonic nanomaterial sensing components to provide increased near-infared (NIR) detection sensitivity. The MOF thin films rapidly absorb and sense gases by leveraging a network of plasmonic nanocrystals that act at the NIR range to concentrate light waves and precisely analyze the quantities of different trace-level gases and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). The MOF can be tuned to increase sensitivity and specific signal transduction for selected gas species. Proprietary MOF arrangements at the core of an optical fiber with the cladding layer etched away improves sensitivity, reduces device size, and manufacturing costs.
Features & Benefits
Background of Invention
Around the world, geologists, soil scientists, and others frequently analyze gases entrapped or produced by earth samples, oil wells, shale fields, and food products. Sample analysis is slow and inconvenient because samples must be collected, transported, and queued in a lab for testing. Researchers at Oregon State University and the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) have developed technology for a miniaturized optical gas sensor tailored for geology and fossil energy applications. The novel fiber-optic gas sensor outperforms FT-IR in terms of portability, sensitivity, and manufacturing cost. The invention leverages sensor networks and provides high sensitivity without sophisticated lasers, waveguides, and controls. The portable on-site gas sensor provides timely feedback and eliminates the need for bulky tabletop equipment.
Provisional Patent Application No. 62/113,967; available for licensing