German company offers optical oxygen gas sensor for serial production and licensing
A high performance optical oxygen sensor for gas sensing has been developed by a German company specialized in optical oxygen sensing. The sensor can replace the commonly used galvanic oxygen sensors while eliminating their major drawbacks. The new sensor can be applied in many different fields ranging from industrial applications like biotechnology, to (bio-)medical applications. Cooperation partners for serial production under a manufacturing and/or licensing agreement are sought.
The company is looking for an industrial partner with expertise and certification in the production and distribution of medical and / or safety critical products, ideally already involved in the production and distribution of (medical) oxygen sensors and / or gas monitors. Different models of licensing the production of the described sensor are possible. Ideally, the partner would produce the sensor and actively sell it to the medical market and for safety critical applications. If further developments are necessary to meet the demands of these markets, the German company can assist with this. Most parts of the sensor are standard PCBs and injection molded components. Manufacturing routes of these parts are established and can be part of the license. Alternatively, the partner can use his own production routes. The assembly involves several steps of gluing and potting. Further automatization of these steps will be desirable for high quality serial production. Ideally, the partner would therefore have expertise in the field auf assembly automatization. The German company offers a license or manufacturing agreement.
A German based young and innovative company is specialized in optical chemical sensing with a focus on high precision oxygen measurements. Its products are used in the most demanding applications in industry and research, ranging from deep-sea to space. The company recently developed an oxygen sensor for gas measurements that has a similar geometry like the conventional galvanic sensors that are widely used in gas monitoring. These sensors are found in medical applications like respirators but also in industrial applications in process engineering and biotechnology, e.g. for exhaust gas monitoring, gas warning, inert atmosphere checking, etc. The newly developed sensor can replace the conventional sensor in all these applications while it eliminates the major shortcomings of the galvanic measurement principle. It is also suitable for many applications were galvanic sensor cannot be used, e.g. because of condensing conditions. Versions for trace measurements and very high oxygen concentrations can also be made with the identical production process. The sensor was designed for cost effective large scale production under high quality standards. A pilot installation capable of producing 10.000 sensors per year was built and the sensors are in production since early 2017. Both, a manufatcuring or a licensing agreement are possible. Especially partners with expertise and certification for safety critical and / or medical technology are of interest to open up new markets. The company is offering a licensing agreement. A manufacturing agreements is also possible, the partner would ideally have expertise in assembly automatization.
Advantages and innovations
Galvanic oxygen sensors are used in a wide variety of applications & in great numbers in many industrial and medical applications. However, they have a number of serious drawbacks that arise from the measuring principle: They deplete over time, dependent on temperature & oxygen concentration. Therefore, they need to be replaced in regular intervals. They are cross sensitive to a number of gasses and can be poisoned by others. Changes in (atmospheric) pressure influence the measurement. Even the models with build-in temperature compensation typically show some cross-sensitivity to temperature. Furthermore, galvanic sensors contain a liquid or semi-liquid electrolyte and substantial amounts of lead. The latter will be prohibited in oxygen sensors in the EU from 2024 on. In contrast, the newly developed sensor is based on a completely different measuring principle. Dynamic luminescence quenching is a very robust optical oxygen measuring principle. It has the following advantages compared to electrochemical sensors: - No depletion over time, therefore much longer lifetime - Factory calibrated - No or very little cross sensitivity to most gasses, including CO, CO2, CH3, H2, NH3 and H2S - Small drift, therefore long intervals between calibration - Fully solid-state - Accurate and fast compensation for temperature and atmospheric pressure - Digital interface providing oxygen, temperature and atmospheric pressure measurements in engineering units - Lead free, ROHS compliant - Condensing condition on sensor surface allowed - Shock and vibration resistant Since the newly developed sensor has the same size, shape, and mounting thread as the conventional galvanic sensors, it can replace them in many applications without mechanical modifications of existing enclosures. In some cases, the sensor can also replace zirconia based oxygen sensors while having much lower power consumption and virtually no warm-up time. Production & assembly only uses common procedures.
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