Researchers unveil a small, highly sensitive and accurate nitrogen dioxide (NO2) sensor that can be used in homes, public spaces and industrial environments.
Nitrogen dioxide – poisonous gas and one of the main air pollutants, which can cause breathing problems in infants and people with asthma. Its main sources are internal combustion engines and some manufacturing processes. Most countries have strict values for the permissible concentration of NO2 in the air, the excess of which is allowed only a few times a year, but in large cities these figures are constantly overestimated..
Low level allowed concentration further complicates ubiquitous air quality monitoring, as this analysis can currently only be performed with cumbersome and expensive equipment. Therefore, scientists from the University of Sussex began to create a convenient and affordable device that would be suitable for widespread use..
They made a breakthrough by developing a nitrogen dioxide sensitive film based on laser-deposited carbon airgel. After applying a thin layer of material to the electrode, natural moisture on the surface improves the interaction of the airgel with NO2, which allows determining its concentration in air up to 10 molecules per billion. Rain and fog have virtually no effect on device performance.
According to the team, such a sensor can be connected to the Internet of Things to monitor air quality in a smart city system, installed in a child’s bedroom or hospital wards, and also used to analyze the level of pollution in an area when buying and selling real estate..
Recall that recently the Ford company announced odor sensor development for the car interior, which will help to improve the taxi service.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: University of Sussex, urixblog