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Title: RF sensors for monitoring the electrical properties of electrolyte solutions
Author: Saremi-Yarahmadi, Siavash
ISNI:       0000 0004 2732 083X
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2012
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A radio frequency electrical sensor for the qualitative analysis and monitoring of the electrical properties of electrolyte solutions is designed, simulated and experimentally tested in this research. This work is based on the use of planar inductors for the detection of a change in the concentration of ionic species in a liquid sample. At first a literature review on the physical chemistry of electrolyte solutions is provided. This will include topics on the conductivity and relaxation properties of electrolytes. This will be followed by a look at dielectric spectroscopy sensors, electrochemical sensors and inductive sensing devices. The principles of electrodynamics and constitutive equations are discussed. Based on these, the principles of operation of the RF electrical sensors are analysed. Two methods of theoretical analysis of such structures are investigated. These methods are; analytical solution and finite element computation method. The former offers greater insight into the system’s parameters whilst the latter offers more information regarding the whole system. Given the qualitative nature of the sensors under investigation and finite element approach was selected and used in latter chapters to obtain grater insight into the behaviour of the system. Planar inductor coils are designed on an FR4 substrate and packaged using PDMS to be used as sensors in the monitoring of electrical properties of electrolytes. Experimental results on these sensors are provided and discussed. The effects of solvent, acidity of the solutions, and environmental factors on the behaviour of the sensors shall be discussed. This is followed by finite element simulations of the sensor and the effect of various parameters on the overall behaviour of the sensing device. A transformer apparatus is also constructed and experimental data are provided for it. An electrolyte is placed on one of the coils of the transformer and scattering parameters are looked upon for data analysis. The results obtained using the FE method, is then used to obtain further information about the principle of operation of the device.
Supervisor: Toumazou, Christofer ; Fobelets, Kristel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral