Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Livermore researchers develop battery-less chemical detector

07.04.2011
Unlike many conventional chemical detectors that require an external power source, Lawrence Livermore researchers have developed a nanosensor that relies on semiconductor nanowires, rather than traditional batteries.

The device overcomes the power requirement of traditional sensors and is simple, highly sensitive and can detect various molecules quickly. Its development could be the first step in making an easily deployable chemical sensor for the battlefield.


A battery-less chemical sensor relies on dynamic interactions of molecules with semiconductor nanowire surfaces that can induce electrical voltages between segments of nanowires.

The Lab's Yinmin "Morris" Wang and colleagues Daniel Aberg, Paul Erhart, Nipun Misra, Aleksandr Noy and Alex Hamza, along with collaborators from the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, have fabricated the first-generation battery-less detectors that use one-dimensional semiconductor nanowires.

The nanosensors take advantage of a unique interaction between chemical species and semiconductor nanowire surfaces that stimulate an electrical charge between the two ends of nanowires or between the exposed and unexposed nanowires.

The group tested the battery-less sensors with different types of platforms - zinc-oxide and silicon -- using ethanol solvent as a testing agent.

In the zinc-oxide sensor the team found there was a change in the electric voltage between the two ends of nanowires when a small amount of ethanol was placed on the detector.

The sensor part of the device is about 2 millimeters in size.

"The rise of the electric signal is almost instantaneous and decays slowly as the ethanol evaporates," Wang said.

However, when the team placed a small amount of a hexane solvent on the device, little electric voltage was seen, "indicating that the nanosensor selectively responds to different types of solvent molecules," Wang said.

The team used more than 15 different types of organic solvents and saw different voltages for each solvent. "This trait makes it possible for our nanosensors to detect different types of chemical species and their concentration levels," Wang said.

The response to different solvents was somewhat similar when the team tested the silicon nanosensors. However, the voltage decay as the solvent evaporated was drastically different from the zinc-oxide sensors. "The results indicate that it is possible to extend the battery-less sensing platform to randomly aligned semiconductor nanowire systems," Wang said.

The team's next step is to test the sensors with more complex molecules such as those from explosives and biological systems.

The research appears on the inside front cover of the Jan. 4 issue of Advanced Materials.

Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration.

Anne Stark | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.llnl.gov
http://www.llnl.gov/news/newsreleases/2011/Apr/NR-11-04-02.html

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht Researchers use light to remotely control curvature of plastics
23.03.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht TU Graz researchers show that enzyme function inhibits battery ageing
21.03.2017 | Technische Universität Graz

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

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...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

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...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

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...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Argon is not the 'dope' for metallic hydrogen

24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences

Astronomers find unexpected, dust-obscured star formation in distant galaxy

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Gravitational wave kicks monster black hole out of galactic core

24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>