The future Internet of Things (IoT), with its intuitive applications, will operate based on an broad stream of data supplied by sensors placed everywhere. These will be sensors that are many times smarter and more sensitive than the ones we have today. They will also be produced and installed in far greater numbers and be much cheaper than they are now. For example, researchers envisage a radar that is capable of distinguishing pedestrians from cyclists. That technology might even allow to identify individuals from the way they walk.
Researchers have developed a suspended planar-array chip whose in situ capabilities with a spatial molecular-probe arrangement combine the advantages of both suspended arrays and planar arrays. This opens the way towards the multiplexed detection of intracellular biological parameters using a single device in dramatically reduced volumes, such as inside a living HeLa cell. The chip's volume represents only about 0.35% of the total volume of a typical HeLa cell.
One of the challenges of fabricating flexible electronics has been the trade-off between a material's high flexibility and adaptability, and its conductivity. Exploring feasible methods for guiding conducting or semiconducting nanomaterials into elastomeric matrices will be key to further progress in this area. A promising approach has just been reported by scientists, who have developed a facile printing strategy to assemble silver nanoparticles into micro- and nano-curve structures via a pillar-patterned silicon template. The curves with various tortuosity morphologies have differential resistive strain sensitivity, which can be integrated into a multi-analysis flexible sensor to perform complex-recognition of human facial expressions.
The development of nanoscale devices and applications requires ultra-sensitive sensing systems that can offer not only atomic resolution imaging but also sub nanometer scale displacement detection, zeptogram level mass sensing, or single bio-molecular sensing. Researchers have now developed a novel sensor that addresses some of the shortcomings that have plagued existing optical scanning systems , namely size, complexity, and cost. This sensing technology is completely electrical and capable of sensing very small displacement as low as in the femtometer range.
To overcome the pixel size limitation of existing digital image sensors, both new materials with enormous photoelectric properties and novel device architectures are required. In new work, researchers are now reporting ultra-high resolution nanorod digital image sensor (NDIS) which is fabricated by sandwiching vertically aligned zinc oxide nanorod arrays between orthogonal top and bottom nanostripe electrodes. The most important application of the NDIS is as a next-generation digital image sensor with ultra-high resolution, well beyond the limit of existing techniques.
With increasing sensitivity, electrical, mechanical and optical sensors are able to detect low molecular weight chemical and biological analytes under ever more dilute conditions. At the same time, though, researchers want to keep the sensing process as simple as possible without complex functionalization and complicated preparation steps for the in situ detection. A novel graphene-gold metasurface-based biosensing architectures makes extreme phase singularities possible due to a strong field enhancement on the graphene-gold interface.
A typical preliminary test for tuberculosis includes culturing the samples for at least 1-2 weeks in a lab, followed by examination under a fluorescence microscope. The lack of rapid, accurate, and inexpensive point-of-care tools for detecting low amounts of M. Tuberculosis is a critical bottleneck in early diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Researchers have now developed a rapid and flexible nano-biosensor for diagnosing TB in early stages using smart phones.
Among others, a significant area for nanopaper applications are sensors. Paper-based sensors promise to be simple, portable, disposable, low power-consuming, and inexpensive sensor devices that will find ubiquitous use in medicine, detecting explosives, toxic substances, and environmental studies. New work describes various nanopaper-based nanocomposites that exhibit plasmonic or photoluminescent properties that can be modulated using different reagents. These can be used for simple, disposable and versatile sensing platforms.