SCUID: A Carbon Nanotube Based Sensor for Measurement of Dissolved Gases in Water

Lead PI:  Anuscheh Nawaz, University of Washington
Start Year: 2018 | Duration: 3 years
Partners: Pro-Oceanus, NASA Ames Research Center


We propose the development of an in-situ oceanographic sensor platform that enables the measurement of dissolved gases of interest in the ocean in order to study the nitrogen cycle in oxygen minimum zones. This type of sensor does not exist to date and is accomplished by marrying two mature systems -a cutting edge technology sensing platform, and a proven submergible housing.
The sensing platform consists of a single wall carbon nanotube gas sensor. This sensor chip is provided by NASA Ames Research Center, and has been used to detect several gases in space and on earth to date. For this project, it is trained to detect N2O and NO, two gases that are of great interest to the oceanographic community but have not been possible to detect in situ to date. The sea-worthy, submergible housing (to 200m) will be provided by Pro-Oceanus, an expert in this field.
Detection limits aimed for are 100ppb and 5ppb, for N2O and NO respectively. Laboratory testing of the gas sensor and integrated sensing system will take place at APL/UW. Field tests to Hood Canal (WA), and the Gulf of Mexico are planned in year 3 of this proposal. If successful, these tests will yield unparallelled spatial resolution of N2O and NO gas concentrations, and allow us to draw conclusions about air-sea interaction that have not been possible to date.