Referring to the importance of funding science at the state level, M. Aleksanyan told us. "It is commendable that in recent years, the Science Committee of MօESCS RA regularly announces grant programs, among which I particularly emphasize the grant programs aimed at applied science. This time, our young group applied and won a project, within the framework of which we plan to prepare a nanostructured sensor with high sensitivity to hydrogen gas, which will make it possible to register extremely low concentrations of hydrogen gas in the environment."
According to M. Aleksanyan, in the modern world, there is a search for new, alternative energy sources. It is known that in a few decades the hydrocarbon reserves in the earth's crust will be exhausted, and from that point of view the world is engaged in the search for new types of energy sources. Mainly, the search is aimed at discovering "green" energy sources, such as solar energy, wind energy, etc. Hydrogen energy can also be included among them, because when burned, it mainly emits environmentally friendly water molecules.
In his speech, M. Aleksanyan also detailed the importance of the harmless use and transportation of hydrogen gas, thanking hydrogen sensors.
"Hydrogen is widely used in various fields of human activity: in industry and medicine, in semiconductor technologies, and elsewhere. There have been hydrogen cars in the world for a long time. On the other hand, hydrogen is considered an extremely explosive and flammable gas. It has a smaller atomic radius than other gases, which allows it to leak through incredible tiny holes. From this point of view, it is highly relevant and urgent to develop hydrogen sensors that will allow safe storage, use and transportation of hydrogen gas".
The group has already fabricated a nanostructured sensor and, using special technological equipment, obtained a film consisting of small grains with a diameter of 20-30 nanometers, which showed extremely high sensitivity to low concentrations of hydrogen.
Regarding the prepared sensor, our interlocutor said: "Such sensors are resistive types. This means that the resistance of our nanostructured film changes with the presence of a target gas, and that change is considered a sensor signal. From this point of view, our sensor showed incredible sensitivity to hydrogen gas. The sensor resistance changes several thousand times in the presence of a low concentration of hydrogen (ppm level)."
"Now, intensive work is being done to connect the sensor to the signal processing system, making it a complete detector. The final device can be placed in any environment, such as factories, vehicles, etc., that will signal when hydrogen concentrations are present. The alert of the presence of hydrogen gas can be expressed by sound, light, or message, if, for example, it is remotely attached to modern smartphones. There are many approaches, and modern technologies fully allow us to be flexible," added the head of the scientific group.
It should be noted that participation in conferences held abroad is also planned within the framework of the project.
The members of the group are Artak Sayunts, a candidate of technical sciences, a researcher at YSU Center of semiconductor devices and nanotechnologies, Gevorg Shahkhatuni, a junior researcher at the center, Zarine Simonyan, a laboratory assistant, a master's student, and other employees of the center.