All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Mohammad R Haider

Advisory Committee Members

Karthikeyan Lingasubramanian

Dalton S Nelson

Document Type

Thesis

Date of Award

2017

Degree Name by School

Master of Electrical Engineering (MEE) School of Engineering

Abstract

ABSTRACT Logistics management is a major section of a stable business plan. It is responsible for planning, implementing, and controlling the production and distribution processes of the goods. Its function is even more crucial when goods, which are being handled, are perishable products like food and medicine. It is known in the food industry that a large amount of food is wasted during the transportation chain. More often than not, the main reason for foods going spoiled stems from the presence of unwanted gases around the area of storing. Accurate monitoring and controlling of the environmental conditions imposed on perishable goods throughout transportation could optimize the transportation process, yielding to a minimization of waste. Early detection of gases like carbon dioxide, ammonia, methane that are emitted when foods start to rot, can allow taking immediate actions and lessen the loss. Other than increasing the efficiency of food supply chain, gas detection is of more critically importance in case of a deep mineworker. Unsuspecting miners getting exposed to some lethal gas and facing fatal consequences-these incidents are commonplace in mining industry. These kinds of incidents mandate researchers in the field of sensing electronics to develop gas-sensing system, which are low-cost per surface area, mechanically flexible and have possibility of large-scale processing. Printing circuits on ubiquitous paper substrates is an environment friendly technique for building electronic systems, with low-cost, lightweight and reduced power consumption. Printing allows the use of additive processing and decreases fabrication complexity. Here in this thesis a low-cost gas sensor fabricated on paper is presented. Printing interdigitated electrodes using Silver Nano-particle ink and depositing Graphene coating over it realizes the sensor. Electrical conductivity of graphene is changed due to gas molecule adsorption. The sensor exploits this characteristic of graphene to detect gases. The printing was done using an office ink-jet printer (BROTHER MFC-J5910DW) on regular photo paper. The sensor successfully detected 5% carbon dioxide (CO2) and 5% oxygen (O2) gases. The sensor was also tested as a humidity sensor with satisfying results. Components (printer, inks, paper) used to fabricate the sensor made it possible to lower the cost of each sensor to less than couple of cents. The sensor can be coupled with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags to design a gas and humidity-sensing module. It is possible to fabricate the proposed scheme on flexible surface and has potential to be implemented as wearable electronics. Keywords: Ink-jet printing; Flexible circuit; Gas sensor; Graphene; Humidity sensor; Low-cost; Silver Nano-particle;

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