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Published on 13 April 2023

Gas sampling & analysis on-the-go


Since 1950, gas chromatography remains the top choice among laboratory techniques for complex gas-mixture analysis. Until now, these systems could be as largeas a table.
CEA-Leti, a specialist in microtechnologies, is introducing two highly miniaturized and low-cost gas sampling
and analysis lab-on-chip systems that fit in the hand:

  • PRIMOSAMP: samples gas into a removable cartridge. User can then inject the sample in any gas chromatograph.
  • PRIMOSENS: samples gas into a removable cartridge and performs a gas chromatography analysis.

  Applications: Air-quality and environmental monitoring

  • Defense and security
  • Process monitoring
  • Breath analysis
  • Protecting workers from breathing dangerous gas
  • Automotive

   What’s new?

PRIMOSAMP and PRIMOSENS are based on several innovations:

  • Low-cost solution: cost divided by 10 due to collective fabrication
  • Low-power solution: lower thermal capacity. Battery powered, both devices require 100x less energy than conventional gas chromatography systems
  • Easy to use: no gas bottle needed, meaning no maintenance required
  • Handheld device: highly miniaturized
  • Performance: lower sampling volume and detection in the ppb range

CEA-Leti’s PRIMO devices leverage miniaturized silicon technology bricks, such as micro-preconcentrators, micro-valves, micro-columns and micro-detectors.

  • PRIMOSAMP includes a micro-preconcentrator chip, a 12V battery and a commercial miniaturized gas pump
  • PRIMOSENS includes a CEA-Leti micro-preconcentrator and micro-thermal conductivity detector (μTCD), as well as a 12V battery, a commercial miniaturized gas pump and a gas chromatography column

primo sens.PNG

 What’s Next?

  • Develop a new generation detectors for increased sensitivity
  • Address new healthcare applications such as breath sampling and analysis
  • Study the extension of PRIMOSAMP & PRIMOSENS into the high-end consumer market
  • Scale down the system
  • Develop an embedded recognition algorithm
  • Pioneer new absorbent material for pre-concentration


  • Silicon based micro-preconcentrators for portable gas analysis systems. in 18th International Conference on Miniaturized Systems for Chemistry and Life Sciences, μTAS, 2014
  • Revisiting gas sampling and analysis with microtechnology: Feasability of low cost handheld gas chromatographs, IEEE Sensors, 2017
  • Miniaturization of breath sampling with silicon chip: application to volatile tobacco markers tracking. Journal of Breath Research, 2018
  • A microfluidic device for digital manipulation of gaseous samples. Lab on a Chip, 2020

  •      FLYER


© Leti - Credits photos : L. Godart, CEA / Leti - 2018/08