Battery powered dual-polarity ion detector for trace chemical sensing

Stephanie Fung, Michael K. LeVasseur, Maneeshin Y. Rajapakse, Bradley S. Chew, Alexander G. Fung, Mitchell M. McCartney, Nicholas J. Kenyon, Cristina E. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trace chemical detection plays an important role in evaluating environmental hazards as well as benign chemical sources. We have developed a low power dual-polarity ionization-based detector. The detector electronics are operated with a single 9 V battery and provide concentration sensitive voltage outputs. The detection mode can be set manually with the on-board electronics or can be controlled with a microcontroller compatible digital input. The complete assembly and operation of the detector is detailed. The features of the detector make it suitable to be operated as a standalone system or to be integrated as a sub-system into a field-portable analytical platform. The detector can achieve a system step response of ~1.6 s. We performed laboratory measurements with several ionized chemicals using both positive and negative mode. The results showed highly linear responses at trace concentrations as low as 100 ppb.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number113442
JournalSensors and Actuators A: Physical
StateAccepted/In press - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemical sensor
  • Ion detection
  • Low power
  • Portable chemical detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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