LabCom - V2 - Laboratoires communs organismes de recherche publics – PME/ETI - Vague 2

Innovative Air Monitoring Laboratory – IAM-Lab

Submission summary

In 2014, an INSEE survey showed that air quality was the main concern of the French, ahead of climate change, yet the monitoring of regulated pollutants shows that the limit values are not always respected for several regulated outdoor air pollutants. However, air quality is not limited to atmospheric air pollution as we spend 85% of our time indoors, and indoor air quality has a real impact on our health.

Better understanding the emissions sources, identifying areas with excessive concentrations, and undertaking targeted and effective remediation actions involve providing information on the spatio-temporal evolution of concentrations of key species. Electronic sensors dedicated to air quality can meet this challenge but they still need to have their performances improved (detection limits, selectivity, stability, etc.).

Based on these findings, the objective of the IAM-Lab Joint Laboratory, between IMT Lille Douai and TERA Group, is to develop sensors allowing real-time measurement of several air pollutants with performances adapted to the concentrations of the different environments and markets of interest using breakthrough technology, not yet available on the market. This ambition requires the combination of multidisciplinary skills in qualified measurements of air pollutants, in the development and implementation of high-tech sensitive surfaces and in the development of intelligent algorithms for signal analysis and data processing.

The work of the joint laboratory will begin with two target species:
• ammonia (NH3): a key species in the microelectronics industry since the quality of production can depend on its concentration in the air but this pollutant is also a species of interest in the agricultural sector (high emission sector). In addition, it presents a societal issue in terms of odour nuisance for the populations living near emission sites and a is also a key species in outdoor air monitoring given its role a aerosols precursor;
• formaldehyde (HCHO): a proven carcinogenic species and ubiquitous pollutant in indoor air.

The scientific, technical and innovation program is built on two complementary poles with scientific and technological objectives clearly identified:
• a pole focused on the development of “sensitive surfaces” with the objective of formulating and developing polymer-based materials conductors. These materials have already demonstrated their ability to respond to the two target pollutants, but their metrological performance still needs to be improved (eg selectivity optimization, reduction of detection limits and limitation of aging phenomena) in order to broaden the targeted species.
• A more technological pole, focused on “sensors”, integrating various sensitive surfaces developed in the first pole. This involves the development of signal processing algorithms allowing specific detection of target species and management of drifts from the signals collected by a mono or multi-sensitive surface system. From a technological standpoint, it will be focused on i) developing a versatile system allowing the implementation of the sensors developed on all types of platforms in adequacy with the needs of the various integrators and ii) designing an optimal electronic system to handle on-board pre-processing and iii) a fluidic integrating manufacturing materials ensuring the best compromise between mechanical strength, resistance to time and absence of interference with the measurement. The design of the sensors should also give priority to the use of non-toxic solvents to facilitate the shaping of surfaces and thus facilitate the transition to the industrialization stage of production.

Project coordination

Nadine LOCOGE (Centre d'Enseignement de Recherche et d'Innovation Energie Environnement)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Groupe TERA
CERI EE Centre d'Enseignement de Recherche et d'Innovation Energie Environnement

Help of the ANR 362,962 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: April 2021 - 54 Months

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