Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Findings Suggest New Oxygen-Sensing Application For Material

Date:
June 18, 1999
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
Purdue University research into computer-related technology has yielded unexpected results that could lead to better oxygen sensors for car exhaust systems and medical devices.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.--Purdue University research into computer-related technology has yielded unexpected results that could lead to better oxygen sensors for car exhaust systems and medical devices.

Related Articles


The work centers on an experimental technology, called ferroelectric data storage, which showed promise for a new generation of computers that would retain memory even after losing power.

While analyzing the effects of temperature change on the devices, scientists accidentally discovered that the material is surprisingly sensitive to oxygen.

To accurately measure temperature, they subjected the material, known as a ferroelectric thin film, to a vacuum. But they found that reducing the atmospheric pressure also reduced the performance of the devices. Further tests showed that the effect was caused specifically by changes in oxygen concentration and in the "partial pressure" of oxygen in the vacuum chamber.

With that discovery, they theorized that the material might be useful as an oxygen sensor. Materials now used in conventional solid-state sensors must be heated to at least 300 degrees Celsius (572 Fahrenheit). But the material used in the research seems to perform well at room temperature, and it continues to function at temperatures as cold as minus 93 Celsius (minus 135 Fahrenheit), making it suitable for environmental and biological applications.

A paper about the findings was published June 28 in the journal Applied Physics Letters. The paper was written by Purdue physics graduate student Mark Brazier, materials engineer Said Mansour and physicist Michael McElfresh.

Meanwhile, the research showed that the material's sensitivity to oxygen represents a drawback to its potential application in computer memory. For example, the devices --called ferroelectric capacitors --will wear out in 15 percent less time when moved from sea level to Colorado Springs, Colo., an elevation change of about 6,000 feet. Such an effect may surprise engineers, who think of solid-state devices--such as the silicon semiconductors in computers-- as being relatively impervious to most environmental factors.

"It's a variable that had not been considered, the whole idea that the air in the room is going to affect the performance of a device in your computer," McElfresh said.

Researchers have been studying whether the devices might one day be used to design computers with so-called "non-volatile memory." Such computers would retain memory even if they lost power before a file was saved. However, the recent findings suggest that ferroelectric data storage may not be suitable for such an application. That's because reduced oxygen pressure increases the degree of "ferroelectric fatigue," which is the biggest obstacle to developing the technology.

The material is made of lead, zirconium, titanium and oxygen. The Purdue scientists specifically studied two types of the material: one in which the ratio of zirconium to titanium is 55-to-45, and another that has a 75-25 ratio.

The research is funded by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Findings Suggest New Oxygen-Sensing Application For Material." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 June 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990618063423.htm>.
Purdue University. (1999, June 18). Findings Suggest New Oxygen-Sensing Application For Material. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990618063423.htm
Purdue University. "Findings Suggest New Oxygen-Sensing Application For Material." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/06/990618063423.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Building Google Into Cars

Building Google Into Cars

Reuters - Business Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Google's next Android version could become the standard that'll power your vehicle's entertainment and navigation features, Reuters has learned. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP Review: Nikon D750 and GoPro Hero 4

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) What to buy an experienced photographer or video shooter? There is some strong gear on the market from Nikon and GoPro. The AP's Ron Harris takes a closer look. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Double-Amputee Becomes First To Move Two Prosthetic Arms With His Mind

Buzz60 (Dec. 19, 2014) A double-amputee makes history by becoming the first person to wear and operate two prosthetic arms using only his mind. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins