Professor Inkyu Park and his research team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KAIST have developed a subminiature, power-efficient air-pollution sensing probe that can be applied to mobile devices. Their research findings were published online in the January 30th issue of Scientific Reports.
As air pollution has increased, people have taken greater interest in health care. The developed technology could allow people to measure independently the air pollution level of their surrounding environments.
Previous instruments used to measure air pollution levels were bulky and consumed a lot of power. They also often produced inaccurate results when measuring air pollution in which different toxic gases were mixed. These problems could not be resolved with existing semiconductor manufacturing process.
Using local temperature field control technology, Professor Park’s team succeeded in integrating multiple heterogeneous nanomaterials and fitting them onto a small, low-power electronic chip. This microheating sensor can heat microscale regions through local hydrothermal synthesis. Because it requires a miniscale amount of nanomaterials to manufacture, the sensor is most suitable for mobile devices.
Professor Park said, “Our research will contribute to the development of convergence technology in such field as air pollution sensing probes, biosensors, electronic devices, and displays.”
The team's research was supported by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, Republic of Korea.
Figure 1 – The Concept of Multiple Nanomaterial Device and Numerical Simulation Results of Precursor Solutions
Figure 2 - Multiple Nanomaterial Manufactured in a Microscale Region
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