Nanotechnology Spotlight – Latest Articles

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Showing Spotlights 9 - 16 of 188 in category Sensors, Sensing Applications (newest first):


Light-driven thin-film robots that can feel

kirigami-robotsInspired by living organisms, researchers have developed a somatosensory light-driven robot (SLiR) that can simultaneously sense strain and temperature. The SLiR subsumes pyro/piezoelectric responses and piezoresistive strain sensation under a photoactuator transducer, enabling simultaneous yet non-interfering perception of its body temperature and actuation deformation states. This design confers soft robots with complex perceptions of their body status, as well as the surrounding environments.

Apr 28th, 2020

A self-healing nanofiber sensor for temperature-sensitive logistics

food-sensorResearchers fabricated an innovative type of time-temperature sensor that can be used to detect and record temperature changes throughout the entire cold-supply chain. This nanofiber-based sensor only requires a single self-healing material with one phase, and functions as a result of its own intrinsic characteristics. Moreover, it is highly flexible, not at risk of chemical leakage, and cost-effective. Compared to electronic devices, the type of stimuli-responsive materials used in this device is cost-effective and simply to manufacture.

Mar 23rd, 2020

Electronic skin sensor detects heatstroke danger

skin-sensorA tattoo-like sensor system that sticks to the skin and can indirectly tell the body's hydration level could help prevent heat strokes. The research team behind this invention demonstrated a completely new, versatile strategy to integrate pH sensing elements with high quality, physically transferable PDMS freestanding nanosheets. These sensor stickers can adhere to the skin without any glue. The simple structure of this sensor combined with a thin film pH sensor offers a unique advantage in testing in situ heatstroke detection.

Mar 19th, 2020

Observing flow distribution over curved surfaces

flow-sensorResearchers have demonstrated the first large-scale flexible thermal flow sensor array on a thin-film. This flow sensor - based on a calorimetric sensing mechanism - can not only monitor flow intensity but also flow direction. More importantly, these sensors can be attached onto curved surfaces for real-time flow monitoring. Flow separation is a common phenomenon affecting aircraft, wind turbine blades, micro aerials, and underwater vehicles. Owing to its unsteady flow profile, such separation is usually undesirable because either the airfoil efficiency decreases or large pressure fluctuations emerge. Consequently, precise monitoring is crucial to reduce or even prevent the flow separation effect.

Nov 26th, 2019

Enhancing wireless in vivo sensor readouts with 'divergent exceptional points'

RF-sensorRadio-frequency wireless sensors are essential components of smart objects and internet-of-things components. However, these passive microsensors suffer from poor quality of data and sensitivity due to the environments they operate in and the need for sensors with extremely small footprints. Researchers have recently shown that a wireless system locked to an exceptional point (EP) can enhance the sensitivity of passive wireless sensors in practical applications. New work has theoretically introduced and experimentally demonstrated a new class of parity-time-symmetric RF electronic and telemetric systems, which combine EPs with divergent points.

Nov 12th, 2019

Graphene transistor catches mycotoxins in food

sensor-chipResearchers have developed a method for direct, point-of-use detection of mycotoxins in food. The method is based on the modification of electrolyte operated graphene filed effect transistors that have been specifically functionalized with aptamers by covalent binding. Demonstrating the performance of this method on Ochratoxin A, these sensors show a response time of within 5 minutes with a sensitivity down to 4 pg/ml - that is about three orders of magnitude less than accepted tolerance levels of Ochratoxin A.

Oct 4th, 2019

Moisture-powered, multifunctional flexible sensing systems

moisture-powered-sensorResearchers demonstrate the feasibility of an environmental moisture-induced, self-powered wearable multifunctional sensing system with the ability to detect both humidity and pressure. The self-powered wearable sensing system is fabricated by integrating a flexible micropatterned pressure-sensitive film on PET as the pressure sensor and attached it onto the back of a PDA power generator. Test results prove that this moisture-powered sensor can stably and sensitively realize real-time human physiological signal detection.

Aug 12th, 2019

Polymer encapsulation shields perovskite nanocrystals from degradation

perovskite-nanocrystal-encapsulationDue to their fascinating optoelectronic properties, halide perovskites have attracted tremendous research interest as promising materials for photovoltaics, photodetectors, LEDs, and lasers. Researchers report report a strategy to synthesize perovskite nanocrystals using diblock copolymer micelles as a growth template. This work constitutes a new approach for synthesizing perovskite nanocrystals of controllable size and composition with vastly improved resistance to halide ion migration and environmentally induced degradation.

Aug 7th, 2019