Nanotechnology Now





Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > Sensors for the real world

One of the sensors that has been fabricated using a thin layer of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for electroding, in order to enhance sensitivity. The sensing area is the square at the centre. Credit: Luis Garcia-Gancedo
One of the sensors that has been fabricated using a thin layer of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for electroding, in order to enhance sensitivity. The sensing area is the square at the centre.

Credit: Luis Garcia-Gancedo

Abstract:
Over the last decade there has been an increased interest in developing resonators for gravitmetric sensing; however, the sensors' response to variations in temperature has prevented them from being used outside the laboratory. New sensors developed by researchers at the University of Cambridge negate the effects of temperature so that they may be used in industries including health care, telecommunications and environmental monitoring.

Sensors for the real world

Cambridge, MA | Posted on November 5th, 2012

Sensors built from high frequency bulk acoustic wave (BAW) resonators consist of a piezoelectric layer sandwiched between two electrodes, to which a variable frequency signal is applied. The resonator vibrates at a given frequency, and the properties of the resulting acoustic wave allow researchers to determine what is occurring in the environment.

The main application of these nanoscale sensors is to measure a mass load. By tracking changes in the acoustic wave, mass changes on the sensors can be detected. The resonators can be altered to detect a number of different things, from antigens/antibodies to environmental contaminants.
The major issue which has prevented the adoption of these resonators in commercial sensing applications has been their unwanted response to temperature. When the temperature changes, the acoustic wave changes along with it, so it is impossible to determine whether the change has been motivated by something the resonator is trying to detect or a change in temperature. For this reason, the use of these resonators has been limited to laboratories where environmental conditions can be tightly controlled.

Many researchers have attempted to compensate for the effects of temperature, but as these effects are non-linear, they can only be minimised, not eliminated completely. Now, researchers from the Department of Engineering have designed a thin film bulk acoustic wave resonator that allows simultaneous measurement of temperature and mass loading in a single device. The resonator has been designed so that it has two resonances which react differently to mass and temperature changes.
"This has two consequences," says Dr Luis Garcia-Gancedo, a member of Dr Andrew Flewitt's group in the Department of Engineering. "First, we are able to eliminate the effects of temperature completely regardless of its non-linearity. Secondly, we are able to measure mass and temperature with extremely high sensitivity at exactly the same location, which we haven't been able to do before."

With the assistance of Cambridge Enterprise, the team is looking at two primary applications for the resonators: biological systems and physical sensing. The resonators could be used for applications such as detecting viruses in a health care setting, or contaminants in drinking water. Other potential applications include air quality or pressure monitoring.
The resonator is able to detect masses to the order of 10-15 grams, which is approximately the size of one virus. The size of the resonator (typically a few micrometres square) means that they can easily be embedded in various devices.

"One of the problems with existing sensing technology is that if you're trying to measure two different physical properties, the sensors are often based on two different mechanisms," says Dr Garcia-Gancedo. "The integration of two different sensing mechanisms means that you often end up with a bulky item. But what we have developed uses exactly the same technology with exactly the same electronics, without any increase in size."

Cambridge Enterprise is currently seeking commercial partners for developing this technology.

####

About University of Cambridge
Cambridge Enterprise Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of the University of Cambridge, responsible for the commercialisation of University intellectual property. Activities include management and licensing of intellectual property and patents, proof of concept funding and support for University staff and research groups wishing to provide expert advice or facilities to public and private sector organisations. Cambridge Enterprise provides access to angel and early stage capital through the Cambridge Enterprise Seed Funds and Cambridge Enterprise Venture Partners, and offers business planning, mentoring, and other related programmes. Over the past three years, income from licensing, consultancy and equity transactions exceeded 37 million, of which 30 million represents distributions to University departments and academics.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Sarah Collins
Cambridge Enterprise
University of Cambridge
Tel: +44 (0)1223 760335
Mob: +44 (0)7500 883612

Copyright © University of Cambridge

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 News Press

News and information

Conversion of Greenhouse Gases to Syngas in Presence of Nanocatalysts in Iran May 22nd, 2015

New Antibacterial Wound Dressing in Iran Can Display Replacement Time May 22nd, 2015

Haydale Named Lead Sponsor for Cambridge Graphene Festival May 22nd, 2015

Simulations predict flat liquid May 21st, 2015

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes

Researchers develop new way to manufacture nanofibers May 21st, 2015

Sandia researchers first to measure thermoelectric behavior by 'Tinkertoy' materials May 20th, 2015

Cotton fibres instead of carbon nanotubes May 9th, 2015

A better way to build DNA scaffolds: McGill researchers devise new technique to produce long, custom-designed DNA strands May 6th, 2015

Sensors

Record high sensitive Graphene Hall sensors May 21st, 2015

Graphene enables tunable microwave antenna May 15th, 2015

Janusz Bryzek Joins MEMS Industry Group to Lead New TSensors Division - New Division will Focus on Accelerating Development of Emerging Ultra-high Volume Sensors Supporting Abundance, mHealth and IoT May 14th, 2015

Nano-policing pollution May 13th, 2015

Discoveries

Conversion of Greenhouse Gases to Syngas in Presence of Nanocatalysts in Iran May 22nd, 2015

New Antibacterial Wound Dressing in Iran Can Display Replacement Time May 22nd, 2015

Nanotherapy effective in mice with multiple myeloma May 21st, 2015

Turn that defect upside down: Twin boundaries in lithium-ion batteries May 21st, 2015

Announcements

Conversion of Greenhouse Gases to Syngas in Presence of Nanocatalysts in Iran May 22nd, 2015

New Antibacterial Wound Dressing in Iran Can Display Replacement Time May 22nd, 2015

Haydale Named Lead Sponsor for Cambridge Graphene Festival May 22nd, 2015

INSIDDE: Uncovering the real history of art using a graphene scanner May 21st, 2015

Environment

Conversion of Greenhouse Gases to Syngas in Presence of Nanocatalysts in Iran May 22nd, 2015

Directa Plus in Barcelona to present the innovative project GEnIuS for oil spills clean-up activities: The company has created a graphene-based product for the remediation of water contaminated by oil and hydrocarbons May 21st, 2015

Nano-policing pollution May 13th, 2015

Chemists strike nano-gold: 4 new atomic structures for gold nanoparticle clusters: Research builds upon work by Nobel Prize-winning team from Stanford University April 28th, 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