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Inkjet Printed Sensor Arrays for high efficient, low cost, environmental monitoring

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - IPISA (Inkjet Printed Sensor Arrays for high efficient, low cost, environmental monitoring)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2018-08-31

"IPISA is a very promising story that has been unfolded in the Center for Technology Research and Innovation, (CETRI), and involves a sensing scheme technology with a high societal impact. It is reflected on current needs for environmental monitoring where the knowledge of the exact environmental conditions is of paramount importance such as agriculture, livestock and pisciculture. Furthermore, in the future it could be expanded in different scenarios such as the world of the enhanced safety monitoring in populated areas, as convenient detection of explosives in airports and other public places.
IPISA has exploited an ultra-versatile sensing scheme based on the development of high performance, low-cost, printed sensor array technology. It is combining the existing know-how on advanced sensing materials and inkjet material deposition, guaranteeing high throughput fabrication methods and high sensitivity and selectivity. Advanced data processing techniques strengthen the sensing capabilities, allowing the quantitative and qualitative sensing of a wide range of gases. A prototype device has been built which will be further developed and up-scaled in the future, targeting to be introduced in the gas sensors market. This device has a competitive advantage over expensive, micro-fabricated products addressing similar markets due to low cost, high performance, great sensitivity and simplicity in terms of applicability. Thus, by combining expertise in diverge areas and by a well-defined innovation management plan, CETRI will be significantly boosted in the ever-increasing sensor market.
According to the market research report ""Printed Sensors Market by Type, Printing Technology (Ink-Jet Printing, Screen Printing, Flexographic Printing), Application, and Geography - Global Trend and Forecast to 2022"", the printed sensors market is expected to reach USD 10.46 billion by 2022, at a CAGR of 7.0% between 2016 and 2022. IPISA’s technology is involving a printed array of sensing materials that are behaving as chemiresistors. Although such materials suffer from short lifetime and poor selectivity, they are low cost and they can be printed into devices, contributing to their widespread use. Although the technology of printed sensors is reported in the literature for over two decades, a holistic approach for bringing the technology towards the market is still missing to encompass the sensing materials, the fabrication process, the data acquisition electronics, the signals data processing, the device packaging and the device demonstration and evaluation. gases. The advantages of IPISA sensing platform are based on the combination of a) the selectivity of nanotechnology-enabled sensing materials, b) the use of inkjet printing that provides a convenient, low cost and high throughput fabrication method and c) the advanced data processing techniques that strengthen the sensing capabilities, allowing the quantitative and qualitative sensing of a wide range of gases.
Traditional sensing materials, e.g. metal oxides, and advanced sensing materials, e.g. carbon nanotubes derivatives, are gradually integrated into low-cost, battery-powdered and flexible systems targeting to the future applications in IoT. These materials and devices can be widely applied in many sectors, e.g. in environmental or safety control through detection of hazardous and dangerous gases. Inkjet printing method is ideal for personalized electronics while can print any desired feature on demand in a limited number of process steps. Moreover, is a waste-less and contact-less fabrication method, enabling the high throughput fabrication. Finally, the use of multiple sensing units, each one featuring different sensing material, provides a characteristic “signature” response to each analyte to be detected, which combined with the use of complex data processing techniques (pattern recognition) enables the achievement of high sensor selectivity to the agent of interest.
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The results of IPISA project involve mainly the following: (i) the synthesis of a set nanotechnology-enabled advanced sensing materials (surface-tailored nanomaterials that are designed to provide optimum sensing activity, low cost and stability), (ii) the incorporation of the sensing materials into inkjet printable inks ( protocol for ink formulations), (iii) the optimization of the inkjet printing fabrication protocol, (iv) the characterization/evaluation of each sensing unit, (v) the fabrication of a 6×6 sensing units (printed sensor array), (vi) the enhancement the detection capabilities of the inkjet printed sensor array prototype by integrating advanced data processing functionalities and pattern recognition, (vii) the validation of the detection capacity of the integrated prototype and fine tune/optimization utilizing validated results from operational environment and (viii) a route to the successful commercialization of IPISA focusing on both internal business operational planning/strategy and external marketing strategy (ensuring that all relevant stakeholders are aware of the project outcomes and create interest among companies, organisations and associates about the benefits of the IPISA technology).
The dissemination sought in IPISA have not only targeted commercialization oriented activities and dissemination of the technical underpinnings, but has been also considered to promote the necessary consensus among the target communities, particularly large manufacturing companies. Dissemination artefacts have been prepared to be published and will be periodically updated to feature project progress, knowledge gained and the end results. Actions related to social media, such as a website, have been taken in order to increase the visibility of the project in a sustainable way. Moreover, a list of presentations in conferences and workshops and publications in scientific journals has been planned.
IPISA’s sensing scheme technology can be applied to challenge other industries and strives to offer complete solutions to sensing problems. Through collaborative efforts and in-house R&D, CETRI will evaluate the specific sensing needs each time and adjust the properties and the performance of the developed device. Thus, customized sensing approach can lead to maximized results involving high selectivity and sensitivity towards various gaseous analytes. IPISA has combined the existing know-how on advanced sensing materials and inkjet material deposition, guaranteeing high throughput fabrication methods and high sensitivity and selectivity. Advanced data processing techniques strengthen the sensing capabilities, allowing the quantitative and qualitative sensing of a wide range of gases. A prototype device has been built which will be further developed and upscaled in the future, targeting to be introduced in the gas sensors market. This device has a competitive advantage over expensive, micro-fabricated products addressing similar markets due to low cost, high performance, great sensitivity and simplicity in terms of applicability. Thus, by combining expertise in diverge areas and by a well-defined innovation management plan, CETRI will be significantly boosted in the ever-increasing sensor market. IPISA competes on a variety of factors, such as price, quality, reliability, delivery, customer service, performance, applied technology, product innovation and product recognition.
Description of IPISA technology
Description of integration of IPISA technologies
IPISA four steps development