Bringing gas detection to the consumer level requires gas sensors that are ultra-small (<2x2x2 mm), low power, and electronically simple. C2Sense technology truly enables gas monitoring in a mobile-friendly package; requiring only a capacitor-sized resistor as additional hardware, along with a voltage divider and microprocessor (both already present in mobile devices).
Air pollution is on the rise, and poor air quality has had devastating effects on nature and serious consequences on human health. Two main classes of pollutants are responsible for poor air quality; particulate matter (which has been shown to increase the risk of heart attack and death from COVID-19) and gaseous pollutants (which cause respiratory damage and chronic illnesses). Toxic gases like nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and carbon monoxide surround us constantly, causing damage over time and impacting our health and lifespan. Even ‘safe’ gases are unsafe at high concentrations; carbon dioxide (CO2) is an insidious danger indoors. As buildings and vehicles become increasingly impervious to the environment, high levels of CO2 accumulate quickly and cause drowsiness, headaches, lack of productivity, and chronic conditions. Regulations are catching up, and already the CO2 level is controlled in schools and office buildings in parts of Europe and Asia. Thanks to these trends and consumer awareness around air quality, the mobile industry in increasingly incorporating gas sensors into their technology.
Traditionally, those seeking to accurately measure gas concentrations have been faced with an inconvenient trade-off: expensive benchtop equipment that collects limited amounts of high-quality data, or smaller, cheaper sensors with poor selectivity and sensitivity that collect large quantities of mediocre data. Sensors with high sensitivity and selectivity require too much power to be useful in portable, battery-powered applications. Suppliers have so far been unable to the needs of this industry, since in order for a sensing solution to be viable, the gas sensors must deliver high specificity, tiny footprints, long lifetime with no maintenance, and robustness to changing environmental conditions, all in an affordable and easily manufacturable package.
THE C2 SOLUTION
C2Sense is actively developing gas sensors that combine the most desirable features of traditional gas sensor technology; exquisitely high selectivity in a tiny footprint. Our technology uses the fundamental sensing approach of chemiresistance, but leverages a unique combination of basic chemistry, stabilizing matrix components, and embedded carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to impart selectivity. Simply put, when a mixed gas stream that contains a target compound meets a CNT chemiresistive sensor, a chemical reaction occurs between the selected gas molecules and the molecular selectors within the sensor. This reaction causes a distinct change in the sensor’s electric current, which can be measured and translated into information about the presence and concentration of the target compound. Our molecular-level approach means that our sensors are able to be miniaturized into ultra-small footprints that require very few supporting electronics, and these superior sensors largely eliminate cross-sensitivities, false positives, the degrading effects of humidity and temperature, and other challenges which have historically plagued small form-factor sensors.
The highly specific and robust nature of C2Sense products provides exquisite sensitivity and selectivity without frequent maintenance. Our pilots in nuclear waste sites and livestock facilities have put our sensors to the test in extreme environments, and we have successfully used our sensors to detect 80+ proof-of-concept gases. Currently, the size of our sensor (1.5 x 0.5 mm) allows for truly mobile applications and a wide variety of packaging, including PCB-mounted form factors that can seamlessly integrate directly into existing manufacturing lines. Our sensing approach makes it possible for our sensors to provide large volumes of useful information despite their small size and relatively simple construction, enabling high quality personal or local air quality measurements for consumer electronics.
Mobile applications, pervasive integration into many electronic devices, and straightforward multiplexing
Sensing without cross-sensitivities and resistance to chemical and environmental interferents
Designed with Application-specific Requirements In Mind
Dynamic technical tuneability, a SWAP-C with parity or advantage over existing technology, specialized sensor performance, calibration infrequent or not needed.