09 Juillet – Thesis defense

10 h Amphi - Building A31 (IMS) - University of Bordeaux

Development of a gas detection platform, using a flexible differential printed sensor based on microwave transducers and carbon composite materials.

Since the Industrial Revolution, the levels of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have been increasing, causing an acceleration of global warming. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contribute not only to this greenhouse effect, but also to environmental pollution, which has a negative impact on all living species on the planet. For example, in the year 2012, air pollution caused 7 million deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) [1]. In addition, a very recent medical study by the Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health found that one in six deaths in 2015 was related to air and water pollution [2]. Also, indoor and outdoor air pollution is linked to 6.5 million deaths worldwide each year. VOCs can indirectly cause cough, chest discomfort, painful discomfort, shortness of breath, as well as nasal, ocular or throat irritation. They can also be directly toxic or explosive or disruptive of the immune response. In addition, some of them are classified as CMR (carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic). They are very volatile and often used as solvents for example. In these conditions, a better understanding of the health and environmental effects of exposure to VOCs is necessary. Such knowledge also involves the detection and quantification of VOC concentrations in order to propose a better management of the environments and to alert people in real time of the dangers incurred. Most of the existing or commercially available platforms are either too expensive, energy intensive, high temperature functional, unstable for real-time or long-term detection, which limits the proliferation of measurement sites. This thesis is in the field of dedicated gas sensors for the detection of pollution in the air. It deals with the development of a platform for the detection, monitoring and quantification of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in real time, using a flexible and printed differential gas sensor based on microwave transducers and composite polymeric carbon materials as sensitive layers. The proposed device aims at providing directly exploitable information such as a low-cost embedded platform dedicated to the Internet of things and which offers increasing possibilities for the proliferation of detection and control sites by realizing networks of wireless communicating sensors operating in various environments.

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