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Australian researchers devise ruthenium oxide pH sensor

31 Oct 2013

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A new pH sensor has been developed out of subµm ruthenium oxide thin-film by a research team at Edith Cowan University in Australia. With potential uses in the oil and gas as well as medical industries, the novel sensor was made to be 500 times thinner than a human hair through a magnetic sputtering system. The instrument could be an alternative to traditional glass pH electrodes.

Australian researchers devise ruthenium oxide pH sensor

One of the main challenges in developing the sensor was precisely controlling the thickness of the ruthenium oxide nano-film. ECU's $8 million cleanroom facility with a magnetic sputtering system helped address this issue. Kamal Alameh, director of the university's Electron Science Research Institute, stated that the ruthenium oxide sensor could aid in measurement of pH levels of oil in pipelines. In the clinical setting, the sensor could play a role in the development of swallowable pills to monitor stomach acidity, researcher Devendra Maurya said. "The ruthenium oxide pH sensors can be miniaturised and cheaply mass produced which opens up many applications that the traditional sensors would not be suitable for," Maurya added.

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