Materials for gas detection

Sensitivity to the addition of acetic acid of LaFeO3
(LFO) and Cr1.8Ti0.2O3 (CTO) as a function of time.
Cr1.7Ti0.3O3 hollow particle synthesized by spray
pyrolysis.

The group of materials for volatile organic compounds detection is a new sub-group of the Magnetic Resonance Division. This new sub-group was consolidated in 2016 taking advantage of the experience and capabilities for the synthesis of semiconductor oxides. The research covers the synthesis, structural, morphological and physico-chemical characterization of semiconductor oxides with potential capabilities to detect gases, hydrocarbons and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful to humans, animals and the environment. We focus our efforts in designing materials proposing new low-cost synthesis methods (as spray pyrolysis) that allow the manufacture of these materials on a large scale.
In particular we studied materials with potential applications in medical diagnosis by evaluating the breath of the patient.

We have started the in-situ and in-operando study of materials for the detection of gases and VOCs using spectroscopic techniques such as electron spin resonance (ESR) and X-ray absorption (XANES-EXAFS). In the case of ESR experiments we designed, with the collaboration of Mr. Rubén Benavides, a reaction chamber to perform the injection of gas or VOC inside a quartz tube containing the material under study located in the resonance cavity. We have also performed XANES experiments employing synchrotron radiation to analyze the effects of the gas/VOC in the local structure and electronic environment of the material. XANES possesses chemical selection, which allows identifying the effects of the VOCS in each atom that form the material individually.

Areas of impact of the research group

– Synthesis techniques of materials with sensing properties
– Physical properties of interfaces
– Gas and VOCs sensing
– Detection mechanisms employing spectroscopic techniques
– Material for medical diagnosis by evaluating the breath of the patient

Researchers
– Dr. Martín E. Saleta
– Dr. Rodolfo D. Sánchez
– Dr. Dina Tobia