Researchers at the University of Surrey's Advanced Technology Institute manipulated zinc oxide, producing nanowires from this readily available material to create a ultra-violet light detector which is 10,000 times more sensitive to UV light than a traditional zinc oxide detector.
Currently, photoelectric smoke sensors detect larger smoke particles found in dense smoke, but are not as sensitive to small particles of smoke from rapidly burning fires.
Researchers believe that this new material could increase sensitivity and allow the sensor to detect distinct particles emitted at the early stages of fires, paving the way for specialist sensors that can be deployed in a number of applications.
"UV light detectors made from zinc oxide have been used widely for some time but we have taken the material a step further to massively increase its performance. Essentially, we transformed zinc oxide from a flat film to a structure with bristle-like nanowires, increasing surface area and therefore increasing sensitivity and reaction speed," said Professor Ravi Silva, co-author of the study and head of the Advanced Technology Institute.
The team predict that the applications for this material could be far reaching. From fire and gas detection to air pollution monitoring, they believe the sensor could also be incorporated into personal electronic devices, such as phones and tablets, to increase speed, with a response time 1000 times faster than traditional zinc oxide detectors.
"This is a great example of a bespoke, designer nanomaterial that is adaptable to personal needs, yet still affordable. Due to the way in which this material is manufactured, it is ideally suited for use in future flexible electronics, a hugely exciting area," added Professor Silva.
About the Advanced Technology Institute at the University of Surrey:
The Advanced Technology Institute (ATI) at the University of Surrey is an established, multi-disciplinary centre of excellence in Nanotechnology and Photonics. It acts as a "technology hotel" encouraging interaction between researchers in advanced functional materials and the devices that these enable. There is especial interest in the application of technologies to the grand challenges in energy, clean water and healthcare, enabled by nanoscale design of electronics and photonic devices.
The ATI interacts with other centres of excellence at Surrey, who bring expertise, inter alia, in structural materials, telecommunications and space. It engages with industry at all levels from SMEs to multi-nationals, and in helping to establish standards with our principal collaborator, the National Physical Laboratory. The ATI was delighted to recently welcome Dr Chris Mills from Tata's research laboratories who joins us for a two year secondment to build on collaborations developing applications for graphene.
Amy Sutton | EurekAlert!
Researchers shoot for success with simulations of laser pulse-material interactions
29.03.2017 | DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Nanomaterial makes laser light more applicable
28.03.2017 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.
To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
29.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
29.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
29.03.2017 | Earth Sciences