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Patent
Insplorion, Kasemo and Langhammer | Date: 2017-02-15

The present invention relates to a battery (100) comprising an electrode material (102a), an electrolyte material (104), a battery charge sensor (106, 206, 306) comprising a plasmonic sensing element (108, 208, 308) having a sensing volume (110, 210, 310) within the battery (100, 200, 401) and which upon illumination with electromagnetic radiation exhibits a localized surface plasmon resonance condition being dependent on a charge state of the battery (100, 200, 401). A system and a method for determining a charge state of a battery are further provided.


Gusak V.,Chalmers University of Technology | Heiniger L.-P.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Zhdanov V.P.,Chalmers University of Technology | Zhdanov V.P.,RAS Boreskov Institute of Catalysis | And 4 more authors.
Energy and Environmental Science | Year: 2013

In this study, we used Hidden Interface-Indirect Nanoplasmonic Sensing (HI-INPS) for real time monitoring of dye impregnation (adsorption-diffusion process) of mesoporous TiO2 electrodes of the kind used in dye-sensitized solar cells. We measured the dye percolation time (i.e. the time to diffuse to the bottom of a TiO2 photoelectrode film) for dye Z907 in a 1:1 volume mixture of acetonitrile and tert-butanol for different dye concentrations and for different thicknesses of the TiO2 film, while the total amount of adsorbed dye was simultaneously measured by optical absorption spectroscopy. The experimental data for the impregnation process were analyzed by employing a diffusion-front model, combining diffusion and Langmuir type adsorption, which allows extraction of the effective diffusion coefficient for the system. The latter value is about 15 μm2 s-1 for the combined adsorption-diffusion movement of dye molecules through the TiO2 structure, which is an order of magnitude or more smaller than that for "free" diffusion of dye molecules in bulk solvents. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Gusak V.,Chalmers University of Technology | Heiniger L.-P.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Graetzel M.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | Langhammer C.,Chalmers University of Technology | And 2 more authors.
Nano Letters | Year: 2012

Indirect nanoplasmonic sensing (INPS) is an experimental platform exploiting localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) detection of processes in nanomaterials, molecular assemblies, and films at the nanoscale. Here we have for the first time applied INPS to study dye molecule adsorption/impregnation of two types of TiO 2 materials: thick (10 μm) mesoporous films of the kind used as photoanode in dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs), with particle/pore size in the range of 20 nm, and thin (12-70 nm), dense, and flat films. For the thick-film experiments plasmonic Au nanoparticles were placed at the hidden, internal interface between the sensor surface and the mesoporous TiO 2. This approach provides a unique opportunity to selectively follow dye adsorption locally in the hidden interface region inside the material and inspires a generic and new type of nanoplasmonic hidden interface spectroscopy. The specific DSC measurement revealed a time constant of thousands of seconds before the dye impregnation front (the diffusion front) reaches the hidden interface. In contrast, dye adsorption on the dense, thin TiO 2 films exhibited much faster, Langmuir-like monolayer formation kinetics with saturation on a time scale of order 100 s. This new type of INPS measurement provides a powerful tool to measure and optimize dye impregnation kinetics of DSCs and, from a more general point of view, offers a generic experimental platform to measure adsorption/desorption and diffusion phenomena in solid and mesoporous systems and at internal hidden interfaces. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Larsson E.M.,Chalmers University of Technology | Larsson E.M.,Insplorion | Syrenova S.,Chalmers University of Technology | Langhammer C.,Chalmers University of Technology | Giessen H.,University of Stuttgart
Nanophotonics | Year: 2012

Nanoplasmonic sensing has over the last two decades emerged as and diversified into a very promising experimental platform technology for studies of biomolecular interactions and for biomolecule detection (biosensors). Inspired by this success, in more recent years, nanoplasmonic sensing strategies have been adapted and tailored successfully for probing functional nanomaterials and catalysts in situ and in real time. An increasing number of these studies focus on using the localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) as an experimental tool to study a process of interest in a nanomaterial, with a materials science focus. The key assets of nanoplasmonic sensing in this area are its remote readout, non-invasive nature, single particle experiment capability, ease of use and, maybe most importantly, unmatched flexibility in terms of compatibility with all material types (particles and thin/thick layers, conductive or insulating) are identified. In a direct nanoplasmonic sensing experiment the plasmonic nanoparticles are active and simultaneously constitute the sensor and the studied nano-entity. In an indirect nanoplasmonic sensing experiment the plasmonic nanoparticles are inert and adjacent to the material of interest to probe a process occurring in/on this material. In this review we define and discuss these two generic experimental strategies and summarize the growing applications of nanoplasmonic sensors as experimental tools to address materials science-related questions. © 2012 Science Wise Publishing & De Gruyter.


Langhammer C.,Chalmers University of Technology | Larsson E.M.,Chalmers University of Technology | Larsson E.M.,Insplorion
ACS Catalysis | Year: 2012

Indirect nanoplasmonic sensing, INPS, as the key step forward, facilitates the use of nanoplasmonic sensor technology in highly demanding environments in terms of temperature (up to 850 °C, so far), chemical harshness (strongly oxidizing and reducing atmospheres), and pressure for in situ and real time probing of catalyst and other functional nanomaterials. Furthermore, INPS allows for almost infinite material combinations. We also note that the pressure range within INPS can be used is not limited by the sensor or readout principle itself, but rather, by the design of the measurement cell; hence, experiments above atmospheric pressure should be straightforward. The INPS sensor chip features a dielectric spacer layer physically separating the nanoplasmonic sensors from the probed nanomaterial and serving several additional key functions, including (i) protection of the Au nanosensors from the environment and from structural reshaping at high temperature, (ii) providing tailored surface chemistry (support mateial) for the nanomaterial/catalyst to be studied, (iii) being chemically inert or (iv) participating actively in the process under study, e.g., in spillover effects during a catalytic reaction. In principle, any other dielectric material (oxides, nitrides, carbides) that can be deposited as a thin flat or porous film-but also polymers-can be used as the spacer layer/support material for an INPS experiment, depending on the needs of the specific probed system. To date, we have successfully applied the INPS sensing platform to investigate structural and chemical changes of nanomaterials, such as in catalyst sintering processes,19 the oxidation/reduction of Pd nanoparticles, or the storage of NOx species in BaO. We have also applied INPS to scrutinize size effects in the hydride formation process in nanoparticles in the sub-10 nm size range1,16 or to measure in situ changes in adsorbate surface coverage on heterogeneous catalysts at atmospheric pressure.2 Optical nanocalorimetry has been used to measure local temperature changes at the nanolevel and relate the latter, for example, to the activity of a catalyst.1 Furthermore, we have recently applied INPS to study dye molecule adsorption/impregnation of 10-μm-thick mesoporous TiO2 photoanodes in dye-sensitized solar cells by placing the INPS sensor at the hidden, internal interface between the support and the mesoporous TiO2.18 This approach provides a unique opportunity to selectively follow dye adsorption locally in the hidden interface region inside the material and inspires a generic and new type of nanoplasmonic hidden interface spectroscopy that makes highly time-resolved measurements inside a material possible. This first application of hidden interface INPS has thus also prepared grounds for studies of even more realistic catalyst structures comprising a micrometers-thick mesoporous washcoat-like support structure on the INSP chip, loaded with "real" catalyst nanoparticles. Finally, we have also demonstrated first experiments toward single particle INPS spectroscopy in the example of hydride formation in individual Pd and Mg nanoparticles. In summary, owing to its sensitivity, versatility, robustness, compatibility with harsh environments and high temporal resolution in the millisecond range, INPS constitutes a very promising novel experimental platform for the in situ spectroscopy of functional nanomaterials such as catalysts under close-to or real application conditions. The lack of specificity of the readout signal, that is, shifts in the spectral position of the localized plasmon peak of the INPS sensor, requires careful design of experiments and, in some cases, combinations with complementary techniques, such as AFM/ SEM/TEM, or other spectroscopic techniques, such as XPS. Hence, as one important future direction for further development, we identify the direct integration of the INPS function on a sample compatible with simultaneous additional readouts (such as the aforementioned ones but also others, such as quartz crystal microbalance,42 or nonlinear optical spectroscopies, such as SFG) as a high priority. Furthermore, we believe that more efforts directed toward the probing of individual catalyst nanoparticles during a catalytic reaction are well motivated, because of both the promising first proof-ofprinciple experiments already presented and the potential to efficiently circumvent inhomogeneous sample material artifacts. As the main challenges, here, we identify on one hand the optimization of the utilized microspectroscopy for compatibility with high temperatures and, on the other hand, the further optimization of sensitivity and geometrical arrangement of sensor and probed nanoparticle to ultimately be able to probe individual nanoparticles in the sub-10 nm size range under realistic application conditions. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Larsson E.M.,Chalmers University of Technology | Larsson E.M.,Insplorion | Millet J.,Chalmers University of Technology | Gustafsson S.,Chalmers University of Technology | And 5 more authors.
ACS Catalysis | Year: 2012

Catalyst deactivation by sintering significantly reduces productivity and energy efficiency of the chemical industry and the effectiveness of environmental cleanup processes. It also hampers the introduction of novel energy conversion devices such as fuel cells. The use of experimental techniques that allow the scrutiny of sintering in situ at high temperatures and pressures in reactive environments is a key to alleviate this situation. Today, such techniques are, however, lacking. Here, we demonstrate by monitoring the sintering kinetics of a Pt/SiO 2 model catalyst under such conditions in real time that indirect nanoplasmonic sensing (INPS) has the potential to fill this gap. Specifically, we show an unambiguous correlation between the optical response of the INPS sensor and catalyst sintering. The obtained data are analyzed by means of a kinetic model accounting for the particle-size- dependent activation energy of the Pt detachment. Ostwald ripening is identified as the main sintering mechanism. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


The present invention relates to a gas sensor comprising a sensor layer (100) comprising a plasmonic sensor (102) provided so as to allow, upon illumination with electromagnetic radiation a localized surface plasmon resonance condition, a sensing layer (106) comprising a gas permeable material that, when exposed to a gas, modifies the localized surface plasmon resonance condition, a separating layer (104) arranged in between the sensor layer (100) and the sensing layer (106) such that the plasmonic sensor (102) is separated from the sensing layer (106). A gas sensing system and a method for sensing a presence of a gas is further disclosed.


Trademark
Insplorion | Date: 2016-05-10

Scientific and optical apparatus for experiments in controlled natural gas or liquid flow chambers; optical sensors; Computer-controlled electronic apparatus for measuring nanomaterials and thin films in situ and in real-time; apparatus and instruments for conveying, switching, transforming, storing, regulating or controlling electric current; data processing equipment in the form of printed circuits; computers; computer software for use in the field of optical material studies. Scientific and technological services, namely, scientific research and design in the field of optical material studies; industrial analysis and research services in the field of optical material studies; design and development of computer hardware and software.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SME-1 | Phase: SMEInst-10-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 71.43K | Year: 2016

Insplorion is a growing SME that develops and markets its proprietary technology NanoPlasmonic Sensing (NPS). Multipurpose NPS instruments are already sold to customers around the world. Utilizing their core NPS technology, Insplorion is now pursuing market expansion and this project will expedite this endeavour. Electric vehicle battery monitoring has been identified as a potential market segment, where Insplorion can bring most value to the customer. The segment has been selected based on i) a market need confirmed by communication with car and battery manufacturers (Volvo, AGM Batteries and Littelfuse); and ii) successful prototype tests. Insplorion has also received two supporting letters from one battery manufacturer, and one sensor manufacturer. The market for battery management systems is expected to increase with 20 % CAGR until 2022, with a total market value of $7.25 billion. Currently, current drawn from the battery is used to identify state of charge and state of health of batteries. This does not meet the industrial demand for precise control. Consequently, manufacturers are using oversized batteries (waste of resources and low cost-efficiency) and the safety is impaired (e.g. battery fires). For passenger cars and busses the most critical aspects, that could be solved with better monitoring systems, are the driving distance and the charge rate, respectively. Insplorions NPS technology goes inside the battery cell to measure battery chemistry and provide more accurate information faster compared to the currently employed external voltametric measurement. Enhanced battery control can increase extracted energy by 212 %, the power density by 22 %, and the charging rate by 50 %. Insplorions NPS sensor can be plugged in to existing batteries so that it does not disrupt the existing manufacturing processes.


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