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Materials 2016, 9(1), 65; doi:10.3390/ma9010065

Solid-State Gas Sensors: Sensor System Challenges in the Civil Security Domain

1,2,†,* , 2,†
Department of Applied Sciences and Mechatronics, Munich University of Applied Sciences, Lothstraße 34, München D-80335, Germany
Airbus Group Innovations, Munich D-81663, Germany
Infineon Technologies, Wernerwerkstraße 2, Regensburg D-93049, Germany
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Elisabetta Comini
Received: 31 August 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 20 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nanostructured Materials for Chemical Sensing Applications)


The detection of military high explosives and illicit drugs presents problems of paramount importance in the fields of counter terrorism and criminal investigation. Effectively dealing with such threats requires hand-portable, mobile and affordable instruments. The paper shows that solid-state gas sensors can contribute to the development of such instruments provided the sensors are incorporated into integrated sensor systems, which acquire the target substances in the form of particle residue from suspect objects and which process the collected residue through a sequence of particle sampling, solid-vapor conversion, vapor detection and signal treatment steps. Considering sensor systems with metal oxide gas sensors at the backend, it is demonstrated that significant gains in sensitivity, selectivity and speed of response can be attained when the threat substances are sampled in particle as opposed to vapor form. View Full-Text
Keywords: explosives; drugs; gas sensor; electrostatic precipitation; solid-vapor conversion; surface ionization explosives; drugs; gas sensor; electrostatic precipitation; solid-vapor conversion; surface ionization

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Müller, G.; Hackner, A.; Beer, S.; Göbel, J. Solid-State Gas Sensors: Sensor System Challenges in the Civil Security Domain. Materials 2016, 9, 65.

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