Research devises world’s smallest particle sensor

Technology

Following a joint effort by a troika of research labs, a compact, energy-efficient sensor for mobile devices developed. It informs users about fine dust content in the air, and raises alert of elevated content in real-time.

Size-wise, it is smallest particle sensor fabricated so far in the world. It is little smaller than two one-cent coins placed on each other, and thus particularly energy-efficient. The device requires no maintenance and can be integrated into mobile devices. With the innovation of the device of minuscule dimensions, for the first time, smart watches, smartphones, or fitness wristbands can measure the quality of surrounding air in real time. Further, it can also raise an alert if the content of fine dust escalates.

Particle Sensor to have Social Benefits, opine environmentalists

The development of the device is based on familiar methods of conventional measuring instruments and modern fabrication and integration methods. Meanwhile, miniaturization is the innovation itself. The extent of the sensor is up to the point where it is technically and physically feasible, and involves a lot of tricks to be operational at this size.

This new innovative particle sensor has immense social benefits that are obvious. According to a study by the European Environment Agency, in Europe, more than 400,000 people die prematurely each year as a result of particulate matter pollution. Therefore, wearables equipped with the new sensor can help each and every individual monitor the surrounding air and react and react immediately if there are health endangering fine dust particles in the vicinity.

Beyond wearables, the sensor can be integrated with local applications – both at home and outdoors- and thus provides an unparalleled variety of measured figures.

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