Broad Temperature Range MIS Hydrogen Sensors

Case ID:

WSU researchers have developed hydrogen sensors that differ from previous devices by employing aluminum nitride as an insulator in a metal insulator semiconductor structure. These new structures show a marked specificity for hydrogen under a wide range of conditions. Several prototype sensors with various applications have been tested results are available for review under the appropriate secrecy agreement.

Current hydrogen sensors can readily measure hydrogen in an environment devoid of other gases. When other gases are present the sensor  must be optimized to overcome the selectivity problem, but temperature and pressure requirements are not typically satisfied. The WSU device can be used in applications which will require a hydrogen sensor that can be operated over a broad range of temperatures, pressures and gas compositions.

In the automotive industry there are ongoing efforts to develop a hydrogen combustion engine and a hydrogen fuel cell.  In the space shuttle a mass spectrometer is employed to detect the presence of hydrogen around the shuttle. However this device is unable to detect the location of a hydrogen leak.

Commercial Applications

• Automotive - hydrogen fuel cells
• Commercial Product – hydrogen storage for homes and commercial use
• Aerospace
• Nuclear Power Plants

Competitive Advantages

• Ability to maintain temperature and pressure requirements, while optimizing hydrogen specificity among other gases

Patent Status

Patent Issued - 6,935,158

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Tech Transfer Staff
Wayne State University
Flaminia Serina
Gregory Auner
Ka Yuen Simon Ng
Ratna Naik