Scientists have created a hypersensitive electronic “nose”

07/08/2016
Naked Science editors

Scientists have created a hypersensitive electronic “nose”

A group of Belgian scientists has developed the most sensitive microparticle sensor that can even be integrated into a smartphone.

Hi-Tech
# “Artificial nose”
# “Smart materials”
#sensor
#nanotechnology

1
© Wikipedia

The development of so-called electronic “noses” is not an innovation – for many years there have been enough developments in this area. Many of them can detect hazardous compounds in the air. However, researchers from Belgium have managed to create a device that is capable of detecting very low concentrations of various toxins. To develop the new device, the researchers used a new type of material called metal organic structures (MOFs).

Metals of organic structures are highly ordered porous structures with a huge surface area that can be customized for different functions. The pores that this type of material includes can be used to store various gases and other compounds.

Metals of organic structures / © kuleuven.be

“Metals from organic structures are like microscopic sponges,” explains one of the project s creators. “They can absorb huge amounts of gas into their tiny pores.”

Researchers have created an innovative material using organic molecules and metal ions, which together can absorb phosphates found in pesticides and nerve gases. After that, a special sensor supplies an electrical signal from a sensor that senses various connections. Thus, scientists were able to create an electronic “nose” capable of detecting hazardous compounds in the air, present there in very small concentrations.

The development team says that such sensors for substances in the air can be applied with a thin film to any surface, which will allow even smartphones to be equipped with an odor sensor. It is expected that in the future, this technology will make it possible to diagnose cancer by just one person s breath.

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Hi-Tech
# “Artificial nose”
# “Smart materials”
#sensor
#nanotechnology

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