Central regions | Technology & innovation | Finance, business
Russian gas sensor to find toxic gases and sniff out bad food
5 Dec '16
Printed Electronics Technologies (PRINTELTECH), a Russian developer based in the Skolkovo Technopark just outside Moscow, has raised private investment and a Skolkovo Foundation grant to develop what it pushes as a brand new type of high-sensitivity and highly selective gas analyzers, the Foundation announced.
PRINTELTECH hopes to take 18 months at most to come up with what it believes will be the world’s first prototype for a selective multicomponent portable gas analyzer to determine the concentration of toxic gases in the air in both industrial facilities and residential areas. At the heart of the technology is a set of ultrathin organic field-effect transistors with a range of receptors.
The developer also has plans to carve out a noticeable niche in the fast-growing market for gas sensors to check the quality of foodstuffs in the food industry, with a special eye to developing solutions for checking the freshness of meat and fish by detecting ammonia and hydrogen sulfide content.
The market currently offers a wide variety of stationary and portable gas analyzers, capable of gauging concentrations for a single gas or different gases in a gas mixture, as well as electrochemical cells. However, the Russian developer claims both types have a number of deficiencies, including high prices, bulkiness, the necessity for the owner to hire qualified staff to run the devices, and a limited service life, especially in high humidity or low temperature conditions (for electrochemical cells).
PRINTELTECH’s field-effect transistors based sensor is believed to address the above shortcomings and is expected to lead to the development of high-efficacy, low-cost portable gas analyzers for fast (within dozens of seconds) identification of very low (ten-billionth of a gram or so) concentrations of various analytes. The Russian company is also working to make sure data from the sensors could be sent in an easily readable format to smartphones or other mobile and portable gadgets.