Nanostructured Gas Sensors


Professor Fan Zhiyong and his research teams at HKUST developed a low power, wireless & nanostructured gas sensor component which is a monolayer thin film of SnO2 deposited on a 3D porous nanostructured anodized aluminium oxide (AAO) template.

  • Nanostructured Gas Sensors
Research completion
Commercialisation opportunities
Technology licensing agreement
Problem addressed

The porous membrane of the gas sensor helps increase surface area of the sensing material and improve device sensitivity, and its nanostructure enabled room-temperature gas-sensing without the usage of heaters.

  • 3D porous AAO templates plus the ALD method enabled the conformal and uniform SnO2 thin films deposition with high device yield and desirable repeatability
  • A more comprehensive gas sensing solution with smart home features
Key impact
  • A robust low power consumption (<1 mW) nanotube sensor array with high sensitivity
  • Suitable for IoT integrated devices to monitor indoor air quality
  • A broader gas sensing solution and in-home use instead of just basic environmental indicators such as VOCs, CO2, CO, radon.
  • Sensors networks for applications in smart home and smart city
  • Deployment on wearable and mobile devices such as smart phones.


  • US Patent Appl. No. 62/762295; Chinese Patent Appl. No. 201910362014.0
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) ( is a world-class research intensive university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. Over 80% of our research work were rated “Internationally excellent” or “world leading” in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee. We were ranked 3rd in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2022, and our graduates were ranked 23rd worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global University Employability Survey 2021.