Research Rookies investigate hydrogen sensors

By Lauren Dielman

As the use of hydrogen fuel is becoming more common, hydrogen sensors are becoming a necessity.

The hydrogen sensors need to be “reliable, fast, inexpensive, compact, and low-power,” said Yasuo Ito, associate professor in the department of physics, and Zhili Xiao, presidential research professor in the department of physics, in an email.

Xiao and Ito will be working with Garrett Wise, freshman physics major, on his Research Rookies project involving these hydrogen sensors. Throughout the project, Wise will analyze novel nano-structured materials developed for a new generation of hydrogen sensors.

Wise said his project is part of a larger one and he will go through multiple steps to meet his final goal.

“I am taking gold and palladium material, which is used in the sensor, and doing a microscopic analysis of it using the scanning electron microscope and the transmission electron microscope,” Wise said.

Ito and Xiao said their project will also use “related spectroscopic techniques.” A spectroscope is essentially a device which can produce and observe light from any source.

The research will hopefully come with many benefits.

“This research will help to understand the sensing mechanism, enabling improvements in speed and sensitivity of the senor,” Xiao and Ito said in an email.

Wise said their research will hopefully lead to hydrogen sensors becoming more effective.