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Blue butterfly inspires creation of gas detection sensor

01 Sep 2015

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At present, reliable and cost-effective sensors for detection of small but meaningful gas leaks in a multitude of industrial processes remain an unmet environmental, health and safety goal. The research team believe this highly selective colourimetric sensor could represent a significant advancement in gas leak detection performance in the future.

"Material-design principles applied in nature impact many scientific fields. We found the origin of the unusually high gas selectivity of the wing scales of Morphobutterflies and fabricated a new kind of gas sensor based on these principles," said Dr Radislav Potyrailo, the study's lead author and Principal Scientist at Global Research's headquarters in Niskayuna, New York.

"These new sensors not only selectively detect separate gases but also quantify gases in mixtures, and when blended with a variable chemical background. Our next goal is to make these sensors in a cost-effective manner to offer new attractive sensing solutions in the marketplace," he added.

Dr Timothy Starkey, researcher at the University of Exeter, said: "Our research into these bio-inspired sensors demonstrates the huge value in applying the scientific learnings from the biological world to develop technologies for real world applications."


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