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Sensors 2014, 14(3), 4599-4617; doi:10.3390/s140304599

Membrane-Based Characterization of a Gas Component — A Transient Sensor Theory

Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research, T.-Lieser-Strasse 4, Halle 06120, Germany
Received: 23 December 2013 / Revised: 22 February 2014 / Accepted: 28 February 2014 / Published: 7 March 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Gas Sensors - 2013)
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Based on a multi-gas solution-diffusion problem for a dense symmetrical membrane this paper presents a transient theory of a planar, membrane-based sensor cell for measuring gas from both initial conditions: dynamic and thermodynamic equilibrium. Using this theory, the ranges for which previously developed, simpler approaches are valid will be discussed; these approaches are of vital interest for membrane-based gas sensor applications. Finally, a new theoretical approach is introduced to identify varying gas components by arranging sensor cell pairs resulting in a concentration independent gas-specific critical time. Literature data for the N2, O2, Ar, CH4, CO2, H2 and C4H10 diffusion coefficients and solubilities for a polydimethylsiloxane membrane were used to simulate gas specific sensor responses. The results demonstrate the influence of (i) the operational mode; (ii) sensor geometry and (iii) gas matrices (air, Ar) on that critical time. Based on the developed theory the case-specific suitable membrane materials can be determined and both operation and design options for these sensors can be optimized for individual applications. The results of mixing experiments for different gases (O2, CO2) in a gas matrix of air confirmed the theoretical predictions.
Keywords: sensor; membrane; selectivity; gas; identification; discrimination; quantification sensor; membrane; selectivity; gas; identification; discrimination; quantification
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lazik, D. Membrane-Based Characterization of a Gas Component — A Transient Sensor Theory. Sensors 2014, 14, 4599-4617.

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