Chemical Sensing with Silicon Nanowires in a Vertical Array with a Porous Electrode

NRL has developed through research funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a gas sensor composed of an array of vertical nanowires topped by a porous electrode. The sensor responds when a substance of interest absorbs on the nanowires, changing their electrical conductivity. The combination of a vertical orientation and a porous top electrode allows for simultaneous exposure and response from huge numbers of individual nanowires. Because of these attributes, the sensor provides a very high signal/noise and short response time.

Catalytic Self-Decontaminating Materials

NRL has developed self-decontaminating structures based on porphyrin-embedded, target imprinted, porous, organosilicate sorbents. The materials rapidly sequester targets as a result of the affinity of the sorbent structures. Catalysis proceeds upon stimulation of the porphyrin moieties through illumination or by an applied current. This potential for dual stimulation provides the opportunity for utilization of the materials in sunlit or low light environments.

Reactive and Catalytic Air Purification Materials

NRL has developed sorbents for the removal of toxic industrial gases such as ammonia and phosgene. The materials offer reactive and/or catalytic sites within a high surface area, hierarchical pore structure. The reactive/catalytic nature of the materials offers extended lifetimes to typical purification applications.

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