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Sub-second and Ppm-level Optical Sensing of Hydrogen Using Templated Control of Nano-hydride Geometry and Composition


The use of hydrogen as a clean and renewable alternative to fossil fuels requires a suite of flammability mitigating technologies, particularly robust sensors for hydrogen leak detection and concentration monitoring. To this end, we have developed a class of lightweight optical hydrogen sensors based on a metasurface of Pd nano-patchy particle arrays, which fulfills the increasing requirements of a safe hydrogen fuel sensing system with no risk of sparking. The structure of the optical sensor is readily nano-engineered to yield extraordinarily rapid response to hydrogen gas (<3 s at 1 mbar H2) with a high degree of accuracy (<5%). By incorporating 20% Ag, Au or Co, the sensing performances of the Pd-alloy sensor are significantly enhanced, especially for the Pd80Co20 sensor whose optical response time at 1 mbar of H2 is just ~0.85 s, while preserving the excellent accuracy (<2.5%), limit of detection (2.5 ppm), and robustness against aging, temperature, and interfering gases. The superior performance of our sensor places it among the fastest and most sensitive optical hydrogen sensors.

Funding source: Savannah River National Laboratory’s Laboratory Directed and Development program (SRNL is managed and operated by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC under contract no. DE-AC09-08SR22470). M.H.P. acknowledges support from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering under Award No. DE-FG02-07ER46438 and the University of South Florida Nexus Initiative (UNI) under Award No. R15301.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain
Countries: United States

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