Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 972139

Proposal Number: 23.05-1100

Project Title: Microhotplate Based, Palladium-Coated Metal-Hydride Thin Film Hydrogen Sensor arrays

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

NASA currently has an urgent need for miniature, robust chemical sensors for in situ analysis. These sensors must be small in size, have low power consumption, be resistant to contamination, require infrequent calibration, have a large dynamic range, and be able to withstand the high stress environments required by NASA. We propose to use micro-machined structures known as micro-hotplates coupled with newly developed palladium-coated metal-hydride thin films to make hydrogen specific gas sensors. Palladium-coated metal-hydride films have only recently been fabricated and have not yet been used as the active layer on micro-hotplate structures. The have, however, demonstrated a remarkable degree of selectivity for the detection of hydrogen on bulk substrates. The micro-hotplate structure offers the unique advantages of rapid, precise temperature control and the potential for array fabrication. These sensors will have an active element size of ~100 mm and predicted power consumption of less than 60 mW. In phase I, Pd coated thin films of yttrium, and yttrium doped with magnesium, be deposited on micro-hotplate structures and their sensitivity to hydrogen will be tested. In the Phase II program, the sensing films will be optimized with respect to sensitivity, selectivity, and manufacturability, and robust calibrated testing algorithms developed.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The sensor market worldwide is estimated at $8 billion with a 7% annual growth rate. These sensors will enjoy a significant, unfilled market niche. In addition to addressing safety concerns in space and military applications, these sensors will also find use in the broad $ 200 million market of merchant hydrogen.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Frank DiMeo

Advanced Technology Materials, Inc.

7 Commerce Drive

Danbury , CT 06810

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Daniel P. Sharkey

Advanced Technology Materials, Inc.

7 Commerce Drive

Danbury , CT 06810