Navigation Links
New ORNL sensor exploits traditional weakness of nano devices
Date:2/12/2010

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 12, 2010 -- By taking advantage of a phenomenon that until now has been a virtual showstopper for electronics designers, a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Panos Datskos is developing a chemical and biological sensor with unprecedented sensitivity.

Ultimately, researchers believe this new "sniffer" will achieve a detection level that approaches the theoretical limit, surpassing other state-of-the-art chemical sensors. The implications could be significant for anyone whose job is to detect explosives, biological agents and narcotics.

"While the research community has been avoiding the nonlinearity associated with the nanoscale mechanical oscillators, we are embracing it," said co-developer Nickolay Lavrik, a member of the Department of Energy lab's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences Division. "In the end, we hope to have a device capable of detecting incredibly small amounts of explosives compared to today's chemical sensors."

The device consists of a digital camera, a laser, imaging optics, a signal generator, digital signal processing and other components that collectively, much like a dog's nose, can detect tiny amounts of substances in the air.

The underlying concept is based on micro-scale resonators that are similar to microcantilevers used in atomic force microscopy, which has recently been explored as mass and force sensing devices. Although the basic principle is simple measuring changes in the resonance frequency due to mass changes a number of obstacles have impeded widespread applications of such systems.

"These challenges are due to requirements of measuring and analyzing tiny oscillation amplitudes that are about the size of a hydrogen atom," Lavrik said. Such traditional approaches require sophisticated low-noise electronic components such as lock-in amplifiers and phase-locked loops, which add cost and complexity.

Instead, this new type of sniffer works by deliberately hitting the microcantilevers with relatively large amounts of energy associated with a range of frequencies, forcing them into wide oscillation, or movement. Lavrik likened the response to a diving board's movement after a swimmer dives.

"In the past, people wanted to avoid this high amplitude because of the high distortion associated with that type of response," said Datskos, a member of the Measurement Science and Systems Engineering Division. "But now we can exploit that response by tuning the system to a very specific frequency that is associated with the specific chemical or compound we want to detect."

When the target chemical reacts with the microcantilever, it shifts the frequency depending on the weight of the compound, thereby providing the detection.

"With this new approach, when the microcantilever stops oscillating we know with high certainty that the target chemical or compound is present," Lavrik said.

The researchers envision this technology being incorporated in a handheld instrument that could be used by transportation security screeners, law enforcement officials and the military. Other potential applications are in biomedicine, environmental science, homeland security and analytical chemistry.

With adequate levels of funding, Datskos envisions a prototype being developed within six to 18 months.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Conference to discuss future of nanotechnology enabled sensors
2. Chloride increases response to pheromones and odors in mouse sensory neurons
3. DigitalPersona Fingerprint Sensor Technology Ships on IBM SurePOS 500 Retail Systems
4. New biosensors reveal workings of anti-psychotic drugs in the living brain
5. Scientists use nanosensors for first time to measure cancer biomarkers in blood
6. Researchers finds hidden sensory system in the skin
7. DigitalPersona Fingerprint Sensor Technology Ships on IBM SurePOS 500 Retail Systems
8. Stable plaque or heart attack plaque? USC researcher builds new sensor to tell which is which
9. Sensor biochips could aid in cancer diagnosis and treatment
10. Panasonic Offers U.are.U(R) Fingerprint Sensor From DigitalPersona on Stingray JS-950 Point-of-Sale Workstations
11. NCR Embeds DigitalPersona U.are.U(R) 4500HD Fingerprint Sensor in New NCR RealPOS(TM) 70XRT Point-of-Sale Workstations
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/15/2016)... -- --> --> According ... "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, ... digital door lock systems market in terms of revenue was ... to grow at a CAGR of 31.8% during the period ... (MSMEs) across the world and high industrial activity driving inclusive ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... http://www.apimages.com ) - --> http://www.apimages.com ) - ... Images ( http://www.apimages.com ) - Germany . ... new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, and ... Hanover next week.   --> Germany ... the new refugee identity cards. DERMALOG will be unveiling this device, ...
(Date:3/9/2016)... 9, 2016 This BCC Research report provides ... the RNA Sequencing (RNA Seq) market for the years ... tools and reagents, data analysis, and services. ... the RNA-Sequencing market such as RNA-Sequencing tools and reagents, ... factors affecting each segment and forecast their market growth, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/27/2016)... , May 27, 2016 At present, ... playing in this space know that volatility is what makes ... companies on ActiveWallSt.com: Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA ... Inc. (NASDAQ: LPTN ), and Heat Biologics Inc. ... access to the technical alerts for these stocks at: ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... NEW YORK , May 26, 2016 ... industry, investors see value in this space. Today,s pre-market research ... Healthcare equities: Radius Health Inc. (NASDAQ: RDUS ), ... (NASDAQ: ARWR ), and Five Prime Therapeutics Inc. ... these stock technical briefings at: http://www.activewallst.com/ ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... Lajollacooks4u has ... and has consistently been rated one of its top attractions. Fortune 500 companies, ... to participate in a unique and intimate team-building experience. , Each event kicks off ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... information (RFI) issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT ... and determines if clinically relevant data were available when and where it was ...
Breaking Biology Technology: