Many scientific papers have been written concerning gas sensors for different sensor applications using several sensing principles. This review focuses on sensors and sensor systems for gaseous ammonia. Apart from its natural origin, there are many sources of ammonia, like the chemical industry or intensive life-stock. The survey that we present here treats different application areas for ammonia sensors or measurement systems and different techniques available for making selective ammonia sensing devices. When very low concentrations are to be measured, e.g. less than 2 ppb for environmental monitoring and 50 ppb for diagnostic breath analysis, solid-state ammonia sensors are not sensitive enough. In addition, they lack the required selectivity to other gasses that are often available in much higher concentrations. Optical methods that make use of lasers are often expensive and large. Indirect measurement principles have been described in literature that seems very suited as ammonia sensing devices. Such systems are suited for miniaturization and integration to make them suitable for measuring in the small gas volumes that are normally available in medical applications like diagnostic breath analysis equipment.
- Gas sensors