Sweden develops nano-sensor to measure air pollution on every street corner

Sweden develops nano-sensor to measure air pollution
Representative Image

STOCKHOLM: Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have developed a small optical nano-sensor that can be mounted onto an ordinary streetlight and can detect air pollution on every single street curve.

The new optical nano-sensor can detect low concentrations of nitrogen dioxide very precisely – down to the parts-per-billion (ppb) level. The measuring technique is built upon an optical phenomenon, which is called ‘Plasmon’. It arises when metal nanoparticles are illuminated and absorb light of certain wavelengths. Christoph Langhammer and his research group have been working in this area for over a decade, and now innovations are starting to see the light of the day.

Irem Tanyeli, Chalmers researcher said, “Air pollution is a global health problem. To be able to contribute to increased knowledge and a better environment feels great. With the help of these small, portable sensors, it can become both simpler and cheaper to measure dangerous emissions extremely accurately.” 

The new sensor technology is not restricted to assessing nitrogen dioxide only but can also be detect other types of gases.

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