UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

An investigation on copper-based and MXene-based planar antenna sensors for hazardous substance detection Khorsand Kazemi, Kasra


Hazardous aqueous liquids and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)s could cause severe health and environmental problems. Long exposure to hazardous aqueous liquids and VOCs could cause skin, lung, liver and kidney problems and cancers. Thus, to prevent these hazards, working personnel require using personal protective equipment (PPE) in hazardous industrial environments. Lately, detecting VOCs and hazardous solutions in an environment and on protective suits has become of the highest importance for personnel safety. Previously, wireless microwave technology has demonstrated its application in VOCs and hazardous liquids sensing, owing to its ease of fabrication, low cost, and real-time response. These features highlight wireless microwave sensors as a promising candidate for use in sectors where human intervention is limited. Nonetheless, there is little evidence on developing hazardous solutions and VOC sensing antenna structures. This thesis presents an innovative approach using antennas to sense hazardous aqueous liquids and VOCs. Two planar antenna sensors were designed, fabricated and analyzed for hazardous solutions and VOC sensing applications. The initial studies were performed to evaluate the performance of an antenna sensor in detecting hazardous aqueous liquids on the surface of a superhydrophobic fabric, representing a PPE, where the designed antenna sensor operated at the frequency of 3.2 GHz. Water droplets replicating hazardous aqueous liquids were drop-cast on the fabrics to investigate the fabric-embedded antenna sensor’s performance, while a secondary transceiver antenna communicated with the fabric-embedded antenna sensor. It was observed that the liquid’s presence on the PPE caused a frequency shift in the transmitted signal where this shift in the frequency was used as a criterion for the sensing application. Additionally, a MXene-based antenna sensor was developed and investigated for wireless VOC and humidity sensing applications. The MXene-based antenna sensor sensed different VOCs (e.g., Acetone, Isopropyl alcohol, Ethanol, and Methanol) and their concentrations. Furthermore, a receiver antenna was located at a distance of 1.4 meters to communicate with the MXene-based antenna sensor and collect sensing data. It was observed that a change in the humidity or VOC concentration causes a frequency shift in the antenna sensor’s response. The results of these studies demonstrated the efficiency of using antenna sensors for detecting the presence of hazardous aqueous liquids on the superhydrophobic fabric and MXene-based antenna sensors in detecting VOCs in hazardous environments.

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