Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Super Sensitive Gas Detector Goes Down the Nanotubes

NIST researchers have developed a new technique to form nanotubes for use in gas sensing applications. One hundred to 1,000 times more sensitive than comparable sensors, their device could be used to study biological cell stress and cell communication.

Credit: Artzi-Gerlitz, NIST
NIST researchers have developed a new technique to form nanotubes for use in gas sensing applications. One hundred to 1,000 times more sensitive than comparable sensors, their device could be used to study biological cell stress and cell communication.

Credit: Artzi-Gerlitz, NIST

Abstract:
When cells are under stress, they blow off steam by releasing minute amounts of nitrogen oxides and other toxic gases. In a recent paper,* researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) described a new method for creating gas detectors so sensitive that some day they may be able to register these tiny emissions from a single cell, providing a new way to determine if drugs or nanoparticles harm cells or to study how cells communicate with one another. Based on metal oxide nanotubes, the new sensors are a hundred to 1,000 times more sensitive than current devices based on thin films and are able to act as multiple sensors simultaneously.

Super Sensitive Gas Detector Goes Down the Nanotubes

GAITHERSBURG, MD | Posted on January 13th, 2009

Gas sensors often operate by detecting the subtle changes that deposited gas molecules make in the way electricity moves through a surface layer. Thus, the more surface available, the more sensitive the sensor will be. Scientists are interested in developing gas sensors based on nanotubes because, having walls that are only a few nanometers thick, they are almost all surface.

Although nanotubes have proven to be well suited for gas sensing applications, fabricating the devices themselves is a difficult, imprecise and time-consuming process, according to Kurt Benkstein, an author of the paper. Older methods include randomly scattering free nanotubes on a surface with preformed electrical contacts (the hope being that a least a few of the nanotubes would tumble into place) or laying contacts over the top of the nanotubes after they had been dispersed, among others. These methods, though they can result in functional devices, preclude researchers from knowing where exactly the reactions are happening on the substrate. This makes it impossible to do multiple simultaneous tests. Also, these sensors are not as sensitive as they could be because there is no way to ensure that the gas is reacting with the interior of the tube.

To address these problems, the NIST group built upon another design using a sheet of aluminum oxide about the thickness of a human hair and perforated with millions of holes about 200 nanometers wide. With the nanosized pores serving as a mold, the researchers dipped the aluminum oxide sheet in a solution of tungsten ions, coating the interior of the pores and casting the nanotubes in place. After the nanotubes were formed, the team deposited thin layers of gold on the top and bottom of the aluminum oxide membrane to act as electrical contacts.

The sensor's high sensitivity derives from its design, which ensures that any sensor response is the result of the gas interacting with the interior of the nanotube. The researchers also note that this same technique can easily be adapted to form nanotubes of other semiconductors and metal oxides so long as the ends of the nanotubes remain open.

* R. Artzi-Gerlitz, K. Benkstein, D. Lahr, J. Hertz, C. Montgomery, J. Bonevich, S. Semancik, M. Tarlov. Fabrication and gas sensing performance of parallel assemblies of metal oxide nanotubes supported by porous aluminum oxide membranes. Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical. Available online Nov. 11, 2008.

####

About NIST
Founded in 1901, NIST is a non-regulatory federal agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST's mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards, and technology in ways that enhance economic security and improve our quality of life.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Mark Esser, (301) 975-8735

Copyright © NIST

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related Links

View schematic of the nanotube sensor.

Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical

Related News Press

News and information

National Science Foundation Selects SUNY Poly CNSE for Expanded $2.1M Northeast Advanced Technological Education Center: NSF Center Locates to NanoCollege in Support of Flourishing Tech Industry in NYS September 1st, 2015

RUSNANOPRIZE Directorate Announces New Deadline for Nominations Submission September 11, 2015 September 1st, 2015

$200K Awarded to Develop In Vitro Lung Test for Toxicity of Inhaled Nanomaterials: In Vitro Lung Test Designed to Protect Human Health and Replace Animal Testing September 1st, 2015

Hot electrons point the way to perfect light absorption: Physicists study how to achieve perfect absorption of light with the help of rough ultrathin films September 1st, 2015

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

$200K Awarded to Develop In Vitro Lung Test for Toxicity of Inhaled Nanomaterials: In Vitro Lung Test Designed to Protect Human Health and Replace Animal Testing September 1st, 2015

Developing Component Scale Composites Using Nanocarbons August 26th, 2015

Southampton scientists find new way to detect ortho-para conversion in water August 25th, 2015

Revolutionary MIT-Developed Nanotechnology Company Showcases at CAMX in Dallas August 20th, 2015

Sensors

Successful boron-doping of graphene nanoribbon August 27th, 2015

Nanotechnology that will impact the Security & Defense sectors to be discussed at NanoSD2015 conference August 25th, 2015

High Precision, High Stability XYZ Microscope Stages, with Capacitive Feedback August 18th, 2015

Setting ground rules for nanotechnology research: Two new projects set the stage for nanotechnology research to move into Big Data August 18th, 2015

Discoveries

Hot electrons point the way to perfect light absorption: Physicists study how to achieve perfect absorption of light with the help of rough ultrathin films September 1st, 2015

Using DNA origami to build nanodevices of the future September 1st, 2015

Scientists 'squeeze' light one particle at a time: A team of scientists have measured a bizarre effect in quantum physics, in which individual particles of light are said to have been 'squeezed' -- an achievement which at least one textbook had written off as hopeless September 1st, 2015

Using ultrathin sheets to discover new class of wrapped shapes: UMass Amherst materials researchers describe a new regime of wrapped shapes August 31st, 2015

Announcements

$200K Awarded to Develop In Vitro Lung Test for Toxicity of Inhaled Nanomaterials: In Vitro Lung Test Designed to Protect Human Health and Replace Animal Testing September 1st, 2015

Hot electrons point the way to perfect light absorption: Physicists study how to achieve perfect absorption of light with the help of rough ultrathin films September 1st, 2015

Using DNA origami to build nanodevices of the future September 1st, 2015

Nanotech could rid cattle of ticks, with less collateral damage September 1st, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







Car Brands
Buy website traffic