Roscid Technologies
Woburn, MA
https://www.roscidtechnologies.com

Roscid Technologies has agreed to licensing terms with NASA to commercialize a NASA-designed humidity sensor. Roscid has been collaborating with NASA for more than two years characterizing the humidity sensor's operating specifications. Due to impressive results, Roscid is moving forward with introducing the new moisture sensor to several challenging humidity markets in which other typical polymer sensors failed to perform.

This new ceramic dielectric humidity sensor exhibits minimal hysteresis, environmental robustness, fast response, and repeatability and stability within a temperature range of 5 to 90 °C and a humidity range of 5% to 99%. Preliminary testing shows the durability and repeatability of the moisture sensor in chemical environments such as gasoline, 3% hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol, N-Methylpyrrolidone, and ethylene oxide (EtO).

The NASA humidity sensor.

The NASA humidity sensor was designed using a proprietary ink and is currently screened onto a ceramic substrate; however, the ink is also designed to take advantage of other printing technologies such as aerosol or inkjet if necessary. This current design process allows the humidity sensor to fully recover after condensation events with many types of liquids (water, gasoline, etc.). Unlike a typical polymer-based humidity sensor, this proprietary inked humidity sensor does not drift or lose its sensitivity due to liquid contact or chemical exposure.

Two sample prototypes sent to Roscid for testing.
The first successful prototypes using a low-temperature ink design as opposed to high-temperature firing.

Benefits of the solid-state humidity sensor include very high sensitivity to small changes in relative humidity, fast response and recovery speed, robust solid-state design, operation at low voltages and power, a small sensing element form factor that enables miniaturized sensor design, a ceramic sensing element that offers potential higher temperature sensing capabilities in excess of 125 °C, and flexibility in dielectric ceramic powder formulations that enables the use of very thick and thin film printing methods.

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This article first appeared in the August, 2019 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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