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Internet of Things and compensated air quality sensors

04 February 2019

By adding air quality sensors to smart building systems, engineers can implement early warning of the buildup of hazardous gases and chemicals, but commercial air quality sensors lack the integrated capabilities required to join a smart building network.

This deficiency can be overcome by turning to easy-to-use development kits which can add the processing power and wireless capability required.

MOS sensor basics

Metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) type sensors most closely match the monitoring requirements for smart building applications. The devices are compact, relatively inexpensive, can run from batteries, and the detection range matches the typical concentrations of C02 and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in indoor workplaces.

In operation, the sensing element is heated to several hundred degrees Celsius (°C). The precise temperature determines the element’s selectivity to a specific gas or chemical. The sensitivity depends on the material’s thickness. 

The sensors are manufactured with either n-type or p-type semiconductor sensing elements. The sensing element has an electromechanical reaction with the target compound which changes resistivity causing a linear change from a known baseline value.

Read the full article in the February issue of DPA


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