The aim of the work in this project is to develop sensing technology that can be readily miniaturised and provide lightweight mobile or networked molecular detection of chemicals in the vapour phase. A further requirement is that the sensor is cheap and does not require protracted training for the user. In Oxford we have been working on developing such sensors through research into the use of conducting polymer networks operating near the electrical percolation threshold, which we refer to as percolation sensors. A project is available to develop percolation sensors for the detection of a variety of analytes, especially volatile organic compounds. The student will be involved in a broad range of interdisciplinary activities including design, building, and testing of the sensor. This project will be integrated into the larger WAFT collaboration, involving a number of UK Universities (www.waftcollaboration.org).
The description above outlines a possible new research project being offered to prospective new postgraduate students.