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Thin-film fiber optic hydrogen and temperature sensor system

United States Patent

5,783,152
July 21, 1998
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Savannah River National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Website
The invention discloses a sensor probe device for monitoring of hydrogen gas concentrations and temperatures by the same sensor probe. The sensor probe is constructed using thin-film deposition methods for the placement of a multitude of layers of materials sensitive to hydrogen concentrations and temperature on the end of a light transparent lens located within the sensor probe. The end of the lens within the sensor probe contains a lens containing a layer of hydrogen permeable material which excludes other reactive gases, a layer of reflective metal material that forms a metal hydride upon absorbing hydrogen, and a layer of semi-conducting solid that is transparent above a temperature dependent minimum wavelength for temperature detection. The three layers of materials are located at the distal end of the lens located within the sensor probe. The lens focuses light generated by broad-band light generator and connected by fiber-optics to the sensor probe, onto a reflective metal material layer, which passes through the semi-conducting solid layer, onto two optical fibers located at the base of the sensor probe. The reflected light is transmitted over fiberoptic cables to a spectrometer and system controller. The absence of electrical signals and electrical wires in the sensor probe provides for an elimination of the potential for spark sources when monitoring in hydrogen rich environments, and provides a sensor free from electrical interferences.
Nave; Stanley E. (Evans, GA)
The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy (Washington, DC)
08/ 824,063
March 24, 1997
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC09-89-SR18035 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Westinghouse Savannah River Company.