Sensitive AND fast

Argonne National Laboratory scientists have devised a new type of hydrogen sensor based on coatings commonly used on automobile windows for their water repellant properties. Physicist Zhili Xiao and colleagues demonstrated an enhanced sensor design made by depositing a discontinuous palladium thin film on a glass slide coated with a hydrophobic self-assembled monolayer of siloxane anchored to the surface. They found that the sensor shows a rapid and reversible response to hydrogen gas that is repeatable over hundreds of cycles. They say their approach to making sensors is easily scalable to an industrial level because it uses techniques that the semiconductor industry already uses. Hydrogen sensors will form an essential component of a future hydrogen economy.