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Italian research institute looks for partners to use, test and further develop nano-enabled Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems providing analytical functionalities to chemical sensing systems

Resumen

Tipo:
Oferta Tecnológica
Referencia:
TOIT20211122001
Publicado:
08/12/2021
Caducidad:
09/12/2022
Resumen:
An Italian research institute offers miniaturized gas sensing systems combining analytical functionalities of nano-enabled Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems devices with microsensors, which provide higher sensitivity and selectivity as well as low cost in chemical analysis. The institute would like to conclude commercial agreements with technical assistance or technical cooperation agreements with R-Y-D partners in order to continue the research.

Details

Tittle:
Italian research institute looks for partners to use, test and further develop nano-enabled Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems providing analytical functionalities to chemical sensing systems
Summary:
An Italian research institute offers miniaturized gas sensing systems combining analytical functionalities of nano-enabled Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems devices with microsensors, which provide higher sensitivity and selectivity as well as low cost in chemical analysis. The institute would like to conclude commercial agreements with technical assistance or technical cooperation agreements with R-Y-D partners in order to continue the research.
Description:
An established Italian research institute, expert in microelectronics and microsystems, has a long experience in Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) based devices for analytical chemistry applications. The research institute has the biggest publicly funded facility for silicon micro-machining in Italy, located in a 500 m2 clean-room (controlled environment) with 100 (ISO 5) and 100000 (ISO 8) class laboratories, fully equipped with technological instrumentations for research on materials and processes in the fields of micro-nano electronics and micro-systems.

The institute is capable of developing and manufacturing high TRL prototypes devices, in particular MEMS, using micro-machining techniques for silicon (Si), silicon carbide (SiC), and quartz substrates, third-generation solar cells and photovoltaic devices. In synergy with Si technologies, research activities on carbon-based materials, like carbon nanotubes (CNTs), graphene and silicon carbide, are extensively carried out.

The research institute is engaged in a demonstration case within the "New Nano-Enabled Products" pilot of the Vanguard Initiative - an association of 30 European regions committed to stimulating industrial modernisation through more effective deployment of new technologies, offering companies easier access to facilities for demonstration, to lower technology uncertainty and speed up market uptake of new technologies, more advanced industrial production and value chain.

The institute is working on the diffusion of MEMS technology integrated with analytical functional nanomaterials to produce innovative miniaturized sensing systems or enhance existing ones, by adding analytical functionalities of nano-enabled MEMS devices to microsensors.

By using multifunctional sensing systems - MEMS technology in combination with molecular recognition nanomaterials, featuring selective pre-concentration capabilities - it is possible to enhance the performance of sensing systems. The combined use of nanomaterials and MEMS technologies, in fact, enables higher sensitivity and selectivity (due to nanomaterials), as well as transportability and shorter analysis time while ensuring smaller size and low cost (due to MEMS technology).

For example, to perform reliable chemical gas analyses, very high selectivity is necessary to avoid false signals provided by interferents in the sample. Specifically engineered nanomaterials feature selective pre-concentration capabilities, which means that they retain only some classes of volatile molecules (e.g. aromatics) and discard the other ones, or under a certain concentration, dimension, form and material selection.

Application areas include:
- safety -Y- security (detection of chemicals released by accidents or terrorist attacks)
- food safety and quality, also in food in logistics
- environmental sensing (air quality, pollution)
- industrial process monitoring
- smart cities
- indoor air quality monitoring.

The institute produces, in small to medium volumes, advanced analytical multi-sensing systems, whose components are developed as MEMS-based devices: gas and/or liquid injectors, fast pre-concentrators, gas chromatographic separation columns, and miniaturized or micromachined detectors. These devices are currently integrated at the system level, including custom electronics, firmware, and software.

The Italian institute is looking for research and industrial partners along the value chain to adopt and test the technology, or to co-develop miniaturized innovative sensing systems integrating MEMS and functional nanomaterials, to further research and develop new versions, and to discover and test new applications for different markets.

Partners will work jointly under technical cooperation agreement or commercial agreement with technical assistance.

Partners sought come from Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Portugal, and all regions members of the Vanguard Initiative.
Advantages and Innovations:
The combined use of nanomaterials and MEMS technologies enhance the performance of gas sensing systems:
- higher sensitivity due to nanomaterials pre-concentration
- smaller chips size (allowing a portable device) due to miniaturization
- lower cost due to lower consumption of electrical power, consumables and reagents.

Theoretically, the solution could identify every volatile substance with a boiling point below 150°C (already proven for drugs, VOC, explosives, benzene, nerve gas, etc.) based on the availability of a nano-material able to selectively adsorb it.
Stage of Development:
Available for demonstration
IPs:
Patents granted

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
The institute is searching for industrial and research partners interested in introducing the technology in their R-Y-D activities or product lines, or to co-develop specific applications:

- Companies interested in introducing multi-sensing systems in their business, due to miniaturization and nano-integration opportunities;

- Industrial partners (SMEs and large companies) active in the fabrication of sensors, gas sensing systems, and analytical analysis systems, to test the offered technology in their specific applications, or to co-develop a custom sensor, also providing use cases and experimental data.

The institute offers a small-to-medium production of the systems. For a higher volume of industrialization, discussions with industry partners are envisaged.


- Research partners (universities, research centers) performing R-Y-D on gas sensing systems and analytical analysis systems, interested in technical cooperation to co-develop new types of sensors for specific materials classes (e.g. benzene, explosives gas for application in the safety and security areas; organic and volatile composites, ethylene for fruit logistics control) and to further advance research in different use cases and to produce new sensors;

- Research partners (universities, research centers, spin-off companies) as providers of new potentially interesting functional nano-materials, to be characterized and integrated into the MEMS devices (e.g. 2D materials, engineered nanostructures, etc.).

Partners sought come from Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Portugal, and all regions that are members of the Vanguard Initiative.

Client

Type and Size of Client:
R&D Institution
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Si
Languages Spoken:
English
Italian

Dissemination

Restrict dissemination to specific countries:
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

Keywords

Technology Keywords:
05002001 Biosensores
01003023 Environmental and Biometrics Sensors, Actuators
01002001 Micro and Nanotechnology related to Electronics and Microelectronics
06004 Micro y nanotecnología relacionada con las ciencias biológicas
08002002 Microbiología / toxicología / control de calidad de alimentos