Skip to Content
Find More Like This
Return to Search

Passive In Situ Gas and Chemical Sensor

Y-12 National Security Complex

Contact Y12 About This Technology

Technology Marketing Summary

In many sealed systems, the spontaneous generation of chemicals and gases can adversely affect the contents of a sealed system. The container or system is closed, and sampling is impossible. A passive method for detecting the presence of specific chemicals in the system is critical and addresses a key question: How do you ascertain the integrity of the contents in a sealed container without opening it? This invention allows a sealed system to be monitored for the infiltration or generation of gases or other chemical species specific to the enclosed materials.

  • Can be used as a passive or active detector.
  • Not only allows a specific gas or chemical to be specifically identified but can also determine its concentration, mass, temperature, and time history.
  • Provides quantitative analysis for determining longevity of the system.


  • Can be custom tailored to react to a single chemical or broad spectrum of chemicals
  • Passive monitoring
  • Cost-effective
Applications and Industries
  • Specialized storage and warehousing
  • Laboratory testing services
  • Scientific research and development
More Information

TRL 2: Applications are speculative at this time, however, key principles have been observed, and next steps include integrating into a functional prototype.

Inventors: Jonathan Morrell and Edward Ripley

Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 8,114,677
Passive in-situ chemical sensor
A chemical sensor for assessing a chemical of interest. In typical embodiments the chemical sensor includes a first thermocouple and second thermocouple. A reactive component is typically disposed proximal to the second thermal couple, and is selected to react with the chemical of interest and generate a temperature variation that may be detected by a comparison of a temperature sensed by the second thermocouple compared with a concurrent temperature detected by the first thermocouple. Further disclosed is a method for assessing a chemical of interest and a method for identifying a reaction temperature for a chemical of interest in a system.
Y-12 National Security Complex 02/14/2012
Technology Status
Development StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

Contact Y12 About This Technology

To: <>