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IR-emitting device lays down path for cheap gas sensors

Posted: 06 May 2016 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:University of Exeter? gas sensor? infrared light? LED?

University of Exeter researchers have developed a device that emits light in the infrared segment of the spectrum to be used as a gas sensor. The team aims to use the ability of many gases that strongly absorb infrared light to come up with economical gas sensors.

Nowadays, most infrared gas sensors use conventional incandescent light sources of infrared light with shortcomings that include limited lifetimes. The innovative sensors developed by the team could be used in such applications as the sensing of atmospheric pollutants such as nitrogen dioxide.

The team, led by professor Geoff Nash, used a thin sandwich of different 2D materials to create a device similar to a nanoscale light bulb, yet the filament is extremely hard to break. The devices are expected to be both cost effective and sustainable compared to semiconductor-based LEDs that emit at the long wavelengths.

According to Nash, initial devices were operated only in a vacuum and would rapidly break when exposed to air. By using a nanoscale filament in a protective coating, the devices operate in air for more than 1,000 hours. This long life paves the way for the development of practical infrared sources for use in sensor applications.

The research, undertaken as part of a UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Fellowship in Frontier Manufacturing held by Professor Nash, was published in the scientific journal Applied Physics Letters.

- Carolyn Mathas
??EE Times

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