Chemical Sensors

Materia Nova is active since many years in the development & test of chemical gas sensors based on organic or mineral semiconducting materials (conductoctometric sensors), in particular for the detection of fire, Ozone, Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon monoxide, Hydrogen, Formaldehyde…
The centre, in collaboration with Mons University (UMons), also works on the (bio)chemical sensors based on optical fibre to networks of Bragg for the gas detection.



  • Ventilation control for cabin air



  • Fire Detection
  • Gas leak detection
  • Alcotests

Indoor Air quality:

  • Air purifiers control
  • Ventilation control

Medical diadnostics:

  • Breath analysis
  • Disease detection

Quality monitoring

  • Filters control
  • Exhaust emissions control


  • Weather stations
  • Air pollution monitoring


  • Emissions control
  • Combustion Regulation

Medical diadnostics:

  • Breath analysis
  • Disease detection


The main skills related to this activity are expertise in formulation of sensitive materials, several layer deposition techniques (PVD, Sol-gel, Ink-jet, Spray-coating…), chemical and morphological characterization of the layers, sensors testing (electrical measurements), efficiency evaluation (reversibility, response & recovery times, sensitivity, selectivity, stability, reproducibilty) and ageing tests.


Driss Lahem

Publications / Patents

[1] Lontio Fomekong R., Lahem D., Debliquy M., Dupont V., Lambi Ngolui J., Delcorte A, ‘Co-precipitation synthesis by malonate route, structural characterization and gas sensing properties of Zn-doped NiO’, Materials Today: Proceedings 3 ( 2016 ) 586 – 591.

[2] Luc Piraux, Vlad-Andrei Antohe, Etienne Ferain and Driss Lahem, ‘Self-supported three-dimensionally interconnected polypyrrole nanotubes and nanowires for highly sensitive chemiresistive gas sensing’, RSC Adv., 2016, 6, 21808–21813.

[3] M. Debliquy, D. Lahem, A. Bueno-Martinez, G. Ravet, J. -M. Renoirt, C. Caucheteur, ‘Review of the Use of the Optical Fibers for Safety Applications in Tunnels and Car Parks: Pollution Monitoring, Fire and Explosive Gas Detection’, “Sensing Technology: Current Status and Future Trends III”, Smart Sensors, Measurement and Instrumentation Volume 11, 2015, pp 1-24. Publisher: Mason, Alex (et al.), Springer International Publishing ISBN 978-3-319-10948-0, 1, 2015 Doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-10948-0_1.

[4] D. Lahem, M. Debliquy, A. Van Baekel, M. Bouvet, ‘Optical NO2 Sensing Based on Mesoporous Sol–gel Impregnated with Lutetium Bis-phthalocyanine’, Proc. IMCS 2014, Buenos Aires, March 16-19, TPS-T7-7.

[5] A. Bueno-Martinez, M. Debliquy, D. Lahem, A. Van Baekel, P. Mégret, C. Caucheteur, ‘NO2 optical fiber sensor based on TFBG coated with LuPc2’, IEEE Sensors Conference, pp. 1073-1076, Valencia (Spain), 02-05/11, 2014.

[6] Bueno Martinez Antonio, Lahem Driss, Debliquy Marc, Caucheteur Christophe, Mégret Patrice, “Nitrogen dioxide detector based on femtosecond TFBG coated with LuPc2 in P(S-bMMA) polymer matrix (Conference Paper)”, Proceedings of SPIE – The International Society for Optical Engineering Volume 9157, 2014, Article number 91575B 23rd International Conference on Optical Fibre Sensors; Santander; Spain; 2-6 June 2014; Code 105788.

[7] C. Caucheteur, M. Debliquy, G. Ravet, D. Lahem, P. Mégret, “Simulation and modeling of hydrogen leak sensors based on optical fiber gratings”, chapter of the book “Chemical sensors: simulation and modeling–volume 4: optical sensors”, G. Korotcenkov, Momentum Press, published in February 2013 (pp 141-163).