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Proceedings Paper

Active voltammetric microsensors with neural signal processing
Author(s): Michael C. Vogt; Laura R. Skubal
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Paper Abstract

Many industrial and environmental processes, including bioremediation, would benefit from the feedback and control information provided by a local multi-analyte chemical sensor. For most processes, such a sensor would need to be rugged enough to be placed in situ for long-term remote monitoring, and inexpensive enough to be fielded in useful numbers. The multi-analyte capability is difficult to obtain from common passive sensors, but can be provided by an active device that produces a spectrum-type response. Such new active gas microsensor technology has been developed at Argonne National Laboratory. The technology couples an electrocatalytic ceramic-metallic (cermet) microsensor with a voltammetric measurement technique and advanced neural signal processing. It has been demonstrated to be flexible, rugged, and very economical to produce and deploy. Both narrow interest detectors and wide spectrum instruments have been developed around this technology. Much of this technology's strength lies in the active measurement technique employed. The technique involves applying voltammetry to a miniature electrocatalytic cell to produce unique chemical 'signatures' from the analytes. These signatures are processed with neural pattern recognition algorithms to identify and quantify the components in the analyte. The neural signal processing allows for innovative sampling and analysis strategies to be employed with the microsensor. In most situations, the whole response signature from the voltammogram can be used to identify, classify, and quantify an analyte, without dissecting it into component parts. This allows an instrument to be calibrated once for a specific gas or mixture of gases by simple exposure to a multi-component standard rather than by a series of individual gases. The sampled unknown analytes can vary in composition or in concentration; the calibration, sensing, and processing methods of these active voltammetric microsensors can detect, recognize, and quantify different signatures and support subsequent analyses. The instrument can be trained to recognize and report expected analyte components (within some tolerance), but also can alarm when unexpected components are detected. Unknowns can be repeat-sampled to build a reference library for later post processing and verification.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 February 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3534, Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Technologies, (10 February 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.339022
Show Author Affiliations
Michael C. Vogt, Argonne National Lab. (United States)
Laura R. Skubal, Argonne National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3534:
Environmental Monitoring and Remediation Technologies
Tuan Vo-Dinh; Robert L. Spellicy, Editor(s)

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