09 August 2022

Scientists of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University and the St. Petersburg Polytechnic University jointly developed and assembled a prototype of an optical carbon dioxide sensor. The device will help to accurately calculate the concentration of greenhouse gases, which are one of the main causes of climate change.

Maksim Demin, Vice-Rector for Research, IKBFU:

“For us, this development is critically important, since we plan to use it as part of a federal project to create and develop carbon polygons. Let me remind you that in the Kaliningrad region we are conducting research on greenhouse gas emissions at the “Rosyanka” test site. I really hope that in the near future we will be able to launch mass production of this kind of sensors to replace foreign sensors in the implementation of carbon projects throughout the country. Today we are already starting the process of patenting the software of our device, and the corresponding scientific article is also under review in the journal.”

To create a domestic product of micro- and optoelectronics, specialists have developed a unique mathematical algorithm based on shallow neural networks. This will help reduce the influence of external factors on the determination of gas concentration. For the first time, scientists managed to prove that this approach allows to increase the value of the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) by 2–4 times, which means that the indicators will become more reliable.

“The uniqueness of the development lies in the use of energy-efficient and durable semiconductor structures. Thanks to the use of an optocoupler with a microlens as a sensitive element of the infrared device, we were able to achieve record levels in terms of long service life, minimum power consumption and compactness. There are no analogues of such energy-efficient gas sensors in the world,” said Alexander Semencha, Director of the Higher School of Physics and Technology of Materials of the Institute of Mechanical Engineering, Materials and Transport of SPbPU.

“The prototype of the device is autonomous and allows you to determine the concentration of gas not only at carbon polygons and production facilities, but also indoors. This opens up opportunities for introducing the sensor into “Smart Home” systems.”

Currently, the device is being debugged, temperature tests are being carried out, as well as the algorithm for processing data from the sensor is being developed. Work on the creation of a compact, energy-efficient carbon dioxide sensor is planned to be completed by the end of this year. “Microsensor Technology” LLC will act as an industrial partner of the project.

The study is being carried out as part of the implementation of the strategic project of the IKBFU. «Baltic Valley» under the program of the Russian Ministry of Education and Science “Priority 2030” in the framework of the national project “Science and Universities”.