Since the nature of C2sensors allows our chemists to develop sensors for any chemically-addressable analyte in a tiny footprint, C2Sense brings value to the Industrial Safety industry by providing low power, tiny sensors for portable applications with increased battery life and selectivity, as well as sensors for niche gases not easily detected by existing commercial products.
Worker safety is the first known application of gas sensing technology; examples of detecting dangerous gases in mining operations have been recorded as early as 100 AD. The Romans wrote of the toxic fumes from silver mines and suggested lowering a lit torch into potentially dangerous shafts to ignite flammable vapors before descending. Luckily, modern gas detection does not require controlled explosions to detect gases; workers are protected by portable and fixed gas monitors for different dangers. However, in the history of industrial human activity, gas sensors emerged quite late, not becoming commonplace until the mid 1900s (almost a millennia after the first recorded deaths from toxic fumes). Even today, despite the critical need to protect workers from dangerous situations, less than half a dozen gas sensor technologies are leveraged within this market, and each class of sensors have a noteworthy weakness.
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. Unusual dangerous gases cannot be detected by existing small commercial sensors with high specificity. And in all these cases, sensors are negatively impacted by humidity, temperature, cross-sensitivities, or all three. In worker safety applications, there is a demonstrated need for a new sensor technology that matches the performance of industry-typical sensors but brings a compelling advantage in: 1) specificity, 2) power, 3) humidity and temperature operating ranges, and/or 4) T90. Moreover, since most existing technology requires frequent calibration, new technology that requires less maintenance is highly attractive.
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 allows for: 1) a lower minimum detectable limit without cross-sensitivity, 2) a size/weight/power/cost profile with parity or advantage over existing technology, 3) dynamic technical tunability, and 4) multiplexing capacity – many gas sensors in a single chip. 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. We have successfully used our sensors to detect 80+ proof-of-concept gases and our team of chemists and engineers are in the late stages of development for several industry-relevant hardened gas sensors. Our sensing approach makes it possible for our sensors to provide large volumes of useful information despite their small size and relatively simple construction.
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.