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26/11/2009 - Sensotran patented a micro sensor that can detect trace amounts of benzene selectively by Nanotechnology.

Sensotran patented a micro sensor that can detect trace amounts of benzene selectively by Nanotechnology.

The microsystem has been developed by the project Sensotran 'nano2hybrids' funded by the European Commission within the 6th Framework Program and the collaboration of the University Rovira i Virgili (Spain) and two Belgians and Luxembourg research institutions.

The microsystem has a cluster of monolithically integrated sensors. The active sensor layer consist of carbon nanotubes in oxygen plasma functionalized decorated with different catalytically active metals nanoclusters

The benzene adsorption in some metal nanoclusters used, results in a charge transfer at the system molecule-nanocluster-nanotube; introducing major changes in the electrical conductivity of the active layer of the sensors and thus allowing detection.

The use of a group of sensors based on functionalized nanotubes with different metals allows the selective detection of trace amounts of benzene (detectable limit is below 20 parts per billion (ppb)) in the presence of other interfering gases.

The sensor working at room temperature makes the microsystem applicable mainly in detection systems and personal protection within the chemical, petrochemical, steel mills, aviation, research laboratories, petrol stations, as well as marine oil spills.

The company Sensotran, s.l. (located in El Prat de Llobregat - Barcelona) will be that exploit the patent.