Dr. Martin Sommer [Contact]

This workgroup intends to make sensor systems, in particular smell sensing technology, available for the general public. Therefore, nano technology, smart design and cheap fabrication have to come together in order to obtain a cheap but efficient product.

Our smell sensors base on nanofibers which change resistance depending ono gas exposition. A combination of some tenth of sub-sensors will give a signal pattern which is individual for a certain combination of gases, i.e. a smell. In case the smell is taught before, the smell sensor can recognize it within seconds. The system (‘electronic nose’) can be adapted to a vast of different smells making it nearly universal. Of course it is helpful for the system to have only a few different smells to distinguish at one time. Fortunately this is exactly the situation in most applications, either for end user consumers or in industry.

The group maintains activities on the following topics:

  • Development of nanosensors
  • Nanowire fabrication
  • Intelligent data evaluation: Multivariate statistics for signal evaluation of multidimensional sensors
  • SNMS-analytics for depth-resolved determination of the element inventory in solid samples
  • Cooperation: Development of intelligent fire alarm sensors
Human nose (photo: Amadeus Bramsiepe, KIT)
Electronic Nose Detects Different Odors

In the "smelldect" project, researchers of the KIT develop a sensor suitable for everyday use.