Visiting Professor Alessandro Martucci from the University of Padova, Italy will discuss innovative materials and sensing devices to detect hazardous gases within working and living environments.
The detection of dangerous gases has recently become a challenging task for several applications, especially for the safety of working and living environments. Another key topic associated to sensors is related to the so-called comfort applications, for example in air monitoring inside buildings or cars, where the target gas may not be highly hazardous, but its detection and elimination can improve the air quality.
Sensors are constituted of two main parts: a receptor that transforms chemical information into a measurable form of energy, and a transducer, that transforms this energy into a signal. Among the different transducing platforms, optical sensors have attracted a lot of interest in the last decades because they are more versatile compared to traditional electrical sensors. In fact, variation in intensity, frequency, polarisation and phase of the transmitted/reflected light can be analysed, and this can in principle improve the device performances by lowering the cross sensitivity between different gases.
In the last 10 years, Professor Matucci's group has developed optical gas sensors based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR). This phenomenon, generally observed in metals, is a coherent oscillation of electrons that are excited by an electromagnetic wave (such as visible light). This can occur in small metal nanoparticles, resulting in strong light absorption and local enhancement of the electromagnetic field (localised surface plasmon resonance, LSPR), or at the interface between metal and dielectric coatings, generating an electromagnetic wave coupled to the oscillating electrons propagating at that interface (surface plasmon polariton, SPP). These phenomena are extremely sensitive to small changes of the local chemical, electrical or dielectric (refractive index) environment and therefore can be used for optical gas sensing applications.
In this lecture, examples of both types of plasmonic sensors (based on LSPR or SPP) for the detection of flammable and/or toxic gases, such as CO, H2, NO2, H2S and volatile organic compounds will be presented.
About the speaker
Alessandro Martucci received his Ph.D. in Materials Science Engineering at Bologna University in 1997. From 1999 he holds a faculty position at Padova University and from 2007 he is Associate Professor in Materials Science Engineering at the Department of Industrial Engineering.
His main research activity is devoted to glass, ceramic and nanostructured films obtained by colloidal chemistry for photonic, optical and gas sensing applications. He holds more than 250 international publications (H-index 33) and 1 international patent. He delivered over 30 invited lectures at various international conferences and Universities. He held visiting appointments at Melbourne University (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015), University of New South Wales in Sydney (2013, 2016) and NRC Ottawa (2008).