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Calibration accessory for MOX sensors in consumer-electronics devices

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000239127D
Publication Date: 2014-Oct-14
Document File: 2 page(s) / 193K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Metal-Oxide based gas sensors offer the possibility to integrate nose-like capabilities into several types of electronic devices. However, a challenge to answer is the intrinsic drift of this type of sensors that for many applications require complex periodic recalibration performed by professionals and generally preventing or limiting the integration of these sensors in electronic devices for the great public. Here, we present concepts for calibration accessories that make the re-calibration of the sensor accessible also to the unexperienced end-users thus facilitating a broader application of metal-oxide gas sensors in the consumer-electronic market.

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Calibration accessory for MOX sensors in consumer-electronics devices

Abstract

Metal-Oxide based gas sensors offer the possibility to integrate nose-like capabilities into several types of electronic devices. However, a challenge to answer is the intrinsic drift of this type of sensors that for many applications require complex periodic recalibration performed by professionals and generally preventing or limiting the integration of these sensors in electronic devices for the great public. Here, we present concepts for calibration accessories that make the re- calibration of the sensor accessible also to the unexperienced end-users thus facilitating a broader application of metal-oxide gas sensors in the consumer-electronic market.

Introduction

Metal-Oxide (MOX) sensors are able to detect various gases in the surrounding air with very high sensitivity ranging between a few ppm to a few ppb depending on the gas species. Moreover these sensors can be efficiently miniaturized and mass produced for costs that make them suitable for integration into consumer-electronics products, allowing the equipment of such devices with a more or less sophisticated replica of a nose. The range of potential applications is thus very large. However the main drawback of the MOX technology is the intrinsic tendency of the sensors to drift in a hysteretic fashion, depending on time, environmental conditions, and history of the sensor. Although many methods for correcting the drift phenomenon have been developed in the past [1], the only safe way to robustly achieve nearly drift-free measurements is a periodic re-calibration of the sensor against defined quantities of one or more known gas species. This procedure is complex tedious and requires a professional training. Hence it is not practical in consumer-electronic applications. Here we present an alternative method to allow end users to periodically calibrate the MOX sensors within their devices without receiving any special training and without going through a complex procedure.

Design

The proposal consists in the development of a "calibration accessory" that can be applied to the device containing one or more MOX sensors to perform a simplified calibration procedure. The main idea is that the accessory represents a system that can enclose the MOX sensor, like a bag containing the whole device or a label to be attached to the sensor's opening, and that this system releases a specific gas species or gas mixture with known quantities over time. The calibration is the...