Manufacturing Tiny, Affordable Gas Sensor Technology for Personal Air Monitoring

We take 20,000 breaths per day, yet how can we know what is in the air we breathe? Short-term effects of air pollution — such as irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, and upper respiratory infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia — can be unpleasant for otherwise healthy people.developing sensors for air quality

For those with asthma or other respiratory conditions, it can be even more debilitating. Long-term exposure to air pollution can have grave effects, resulting in chronic respiratory disease, lung cancer, heart disease, and even damage to the brain, nerves, liver, or kidneys.

Air Quality Matters – Reducing Emissions When Air Quality is Poor

Monitoring the air we breathe is an enormous challenge because air quality varies dramatically, depending on location. That is why having the ability to measure air quality on an individual basis is so important. Armed with information on airborne toxins in our surroundings, we can act to reduce exposure by changing our location. We can also employ automated air purification systems, automated ventilation systems, and connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices that reduce emissions when air quality is poor.

New technology from AerNos enables the design of highly accurate and more affordable personal air-quality detection systems. Capable of measuring at parts per billion (ppb) levels, AerNos gas sensors are extremely accurate, offering product developers a state-of-the-art solution at a form factor that will help to make personal environmental monitoring accessible to all.

“Rogue Valley Microdevices has been a fantastic technology partner, supporting us at all levels. We look forward to continuing our collaboration as we continue to break new ground in developing MEMS-based gas-sensing solutions.”
Sundip Doshi, founder and CEO, AerNos

Transforming the Way Air Quality is Measured in Indoor and Outdoor Environments

AerNos’s MEMS-based 3 mm x 3 mm sensor chip leverages innovations in AerCNT technology, which uses hybrid nanostructures to simultaneously detect specific gases in indoor and outdoor environments.

close up bottom of microscopeAerNos gas sensors offer significant advantages over the gas sensors currently available on the market. In addition to their small size, low power, and affordability, AerNos gas sensors can detect multiple gases simultaneously, including nitrogen oxides, ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane, formaldehyde, and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

This is a major improvement over competitors that can detect just one-two gases. Providing such significant advantages, AerNos technology has the potential to transform the way that air quality is measured in both indoor and outdoor environments.

Solving Manufacturing: Rogue Valley Microdevices

AerNos required a MEMS foundry that could support selectivity, sensitivity, low power consumption, and stability of its technology, all while using nanomaterials, including carbon nanotubes — which are highly sensitive to the environment.

AerNos also needed a MEMS foundry that could use nanomaterial doping processes to create nanostructures where shape, size, density, and location of nanomaterials are fabricated with precision. They required sensor arrays that are configurable and scalable based on sensing applications.

This was a manufacturing challenge for Rogue Valley Microdevices because creating sensitive, stable, selective, and low-power nanostructures is highly non-standard, to the point where little documentation exists on such intricate processes. Working together with AerNos, however, Rogue Valley Microdevices was able to rise to the challenge. The AerNos gas sensor is the result.AerNos air sensing case study

“From the food we eat to the water we drink, detecting potentially harmful levels of contaminants is becoming increasingly important. Monitoring the air we breathe is equally vital but also more challenging because air quality can vary from home to home, between floors of a building or between different manufacturing environments. AerNos has embraced that challenge to offer ultra-miniaturized, affordable gas sensor technology that can monitor air quality on an individual level. We are delighted to partner with AerNos in manufacturing their nano gas sensor technology for high-volume applications.”

Jessica Gomez, CEO, Rogue Valley Microdevices

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