Fiber optical chemical sensors for CO2 monitoring at Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

Carbon capture and storage is a crucial part of mitigating atmospheric CO2 levels. In Denmark, several large consortiums are working towards storing CO2 in depleted oil & gas reservoirs located in the North Sea. However, this is associated with several technical challenges that we must resolve. One is the long-term monitoring and verification of the caprock integrity. However, the current generation of chemical sensors suffers from poor sensitivity, response rates and spatial coverage. As a result, there is a demand to develop new and improved technology.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are a class of porous materials prepared via the self-assembly of inorganic nodes and organic linkers, creating large, extended networks. The design flexibility and physical properties make MOFs attractive materials for selective adsorption processes. This makes them attractive as analyte-recognizing layers in chemical sensors. 

The project aims to dive deep into how we can combine MOFs and fiber optics to create a CO2 monitoring solution for deployment at the seabed. Fiber optics have several key advantages, including a small footprint, high tolerance to environmental conditions and the possibility of creating large, extended sensor networks.


The project is predominantly experimental in nature, and you will gain a broad knowledge of state-of-the-art materials chemistry and characterization techniques. In brief, you will:

  • Synthesize and structurally characterize new and known MOFs (using X-ray diffraction, spectroscopy, atomic force and scanning electron microscopy.
  • Develop and or improve protocols for MOF thin-film deposition on fiber optic cables
  • Evaluate the optical performance and sensor metrics under simulated seabed conditions.


Remember that a project is an invitation for dialogue where you agree on the focus of the project. You have the possibility to suggest other problem statements and perspectives besides what is outlined in the project description. Read more about project collaborations in Career guide