IIT Hyderabad and IIT Jodhpur research team developed a semiconductor which can detect the leakage of Hydrogen gas with high sensitivity. This semiconductor would be helpful in the development of robust and reliable hydrogen gas sensors that will have high sensitivity and give quick response. The semiconductor will be used for industrial as well as domestic applications.
The unique idea for this semiconductor was put forth at the meeting of the ‘National Frontiers of Science’ which was organised in December 2018 by the Indian National Youth Academy of Sciences (abbreviated as INYAS) at IIT Hyderabad. Dr. Chandra Shekhar Sharma, the Associate Professor at CARBON (Creative and Advanced Research Based On Nanomaterials) Laboratory in the Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Hyderabad, along with his research team, discussed the collaboration with Dr. Mahesh Kumar, who is the Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering at IIT Jodhpur, at this meeting.
Both prominent Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) worked jointly for this semiconductor and the result of their collaborative research has been published recently in ‘Sensors and Actuators’, which is a peer-reviewed journal. The co-authors of the paper are Dr. Mahesh Kumar and Dr. Chandra Shekhar Sharma and their research scholars- Mr. Akash Nathani, Mr. Vijendra Singh Bhati, and Mr. Adarsh Nigam.
Dr. Chandra Shekhar Sharma spoke on the importance of this research and told that the importance of hydrogen has increased tremendously in the past few decades because it is a primary energy source that has the potential for becoming a panacea for clean energy generation. In spite of the enormous promise of ‘hydrogen economy’, two major problems are associated with the gas. One is the difficulty faced in producing it and the other is that the detection of Hydrogen gas is not easy. Hence, as hydrogen is an inflammable gas, its leaks can be catastrophic if they are not detected immediately. IIT Hyderabad and IIT Jodhpur collaborated to attempt solving the latter issue.
Dr. Mahesh Kumar also highlighted the need for this research. He told that the explosive range and low ignition energy of hydrogen gas make the leaks very dangerous. As hydrogen is odourless and colourless, human beings cannot sense it, which makes it all the more essential to develop sensors and tools for detecting the gas.
The research team explained how they had created the sensor and the chemicals used by them in the experiments. They also explained the functioning of the semiconductor. Such innovations prove to be extremely helpful and useful majorly in the industrial sector. The creation of such devices helps in preventing accidents and mishappenings on a large scale.