With an aim of monitoring the air pollution, researchers have invented a graphene-based sensor and switch to detect the levels harmful gases present in the air. The low-power consuming device has been designed to check to air pollution in the home so that it can warn people of increasing pollution. The sensor is extremely cheap when compared to other commercially available tools to monitor pollution levels.
“In contrast to the commercially available environmental monitoring tools, this extreme sensing technology enables us to realise significant miniaturisation, resulting in weight and cost reduction in addition to the remarkable improvement in the detection limit from the ppm levels to the ppb levels,” said professor Hiroshi Mizuta, who led the research team.
Mizuta further explained that the device specifically monitors levels of greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) and volatile organic compound (VOC) gas molecules which are easily found in the home including furniture, household goods and other interior materials.
These harmful gases are present in a very low concentration in the atmosphere which makes it extremely difficult for a device to detect the presence. The concentration is detected in the orders of parts per million (ppm). Although, these gases are present in very low concentration but still they pose a serious threat to the environment and our health.
The new graphene-based sensor designed by the researchers from the University of Southampton and the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology will warn people of the increasing pollution which eventually will help in cutting down greenhouse gas emissions. The low voltage switch requires less than 3 volts.
Now, scientists are aiming to take it to the next step by creating ultra-low-power environmental sensor systems that can detect single molecules.
The study appeared in the journal Science Advances.