The engineers’ voice/World leader in gas sensing innovation

The engineers’ voice

While Figaro Engineering is a pioneer in the development of gas sensors, it values technology
generated from the development process. Each engineer is engaged in development on a daily basis,
and it is the desire of the company to expand and solidify these technologies.

Mass production of high-sensitivity gas sensors
Mass production of gas sensors by applying thick-film printing technology
Contributing to safety and security through gas sensors - Figaro’s theme since its establishment.

Contributing to safety and security through gas sensors - Figaro's theme since its establishment.
Technologies allowing cost-effective mass production of high-quality gas sensors are required to realize this aim. Figaro has focused on adopting superior mass production technologies from other fields and adapting them with proprietary modifications for the production of gas sensors. As an example, thick-film printing technology as used in the manufacture of ICs has been applied to gas sensors, allowing realization of mass production and an increase in production of gas sensors to the world’s highest level.

Mass production through application of thick-film printing technology

Before using thick film printing, MOS-type gas sensors were manually manufactured one at a time, with sensing material applied by hand. The focus of a radical revision to this process was thick-film printing technology as used in IC manufacture. The process began with the printing of sensor material on a substrate less than 1-inch square. With subsequent improvements to the paste material and in positioning techniques, stable printing on a large substrate became possible so that currently more than 700 sensor elements can be formed in a single printing operation.

Long-life gas sensors 
Research and Development to prevent deterioration over time

The detector element of a MOS-type gas sensor is comprised of metal oxides that are normally in contact with air and in use for a long period of time. Stability over time is essential. Figaro has succeeded in developing more durable gas sensors in which the deterioration over time due to absorbed oxygen is controlled. This unique innovation was accomplished by mixing additives with the metal oxides. Today this method is considered mainstream, and new materials are added to produce gas sensors with long life and high-quality.

Long life is the key to commercialization

Dealing with the problem of deterioration over time was a critical point during development. Many chemical additives for prolonging sensor life were investigated by conducting repeated experiments on a daily basis. Finally, the most effective additives were identified along with optimized process conditions and operating conditions, leading to success in creating long-lived sensors.

 Ultra-sensitive VOC monitor using MOS type gas sensors 
Low concentration detection with concentration compression as applied to gas chromatographs

MOS-type gas sensors are characterized by an ability to respond to low gas concentrations. The FTVR-06 VOC component monitor employs pre-processing techniques to compress minute concentrations of gas, which are then separated in a column, allowing extremely low concentrations of gas to be measured qualitatively and quantitatively.
Precise measurement of low concentrations requires both a highly sensitive gas sensor and specialized gas concentration technology. Figaro has developed sensors that react selectively to a particular type of gas, and by applying technology whereby dispersed gas is concentrated by a factor of 100, the measurement of low gas concentrations can be achieved.

A gas chromatograph for on-site use

Measurement of gases dispersed in air is typically performed either with a device of low accuracy or, to obtain precise readings, by a complex procedure of collecting bagged samples which must be delivered to a laboratory for analysis.

Figaro’s gas chromatograph can be taken directly to a measurement site to provide precise gas measurements. If only confirmation of concentration is required, the device need not be connected to a PC. Customers consistently praise the device’s portability, simplicity, and convenience.

Our challenge

  • Refinement and reduced power consumption
  • Carbon monoxide
  • MOS-type