To enhance the identification of nerve gas and pesticides in extremely low concentrations, an international group of researchers has created a highly sensitive electronic nose. Such a nose is built with frameworks of metal-organic nature (MOFs) and intends to offer trouble free identification of various types of pesticides across regions. This team of scientists has been led by Rob Ameloot and Ivo Stassen from the Department of Researches in KU Leuven, Belgium. It is the combined efforts of the researchers who have made it possible.
It is the finely-known electronic nose in the shape of a dog’s face that is termed as the breathalyser. The driver can wear it and as the drivers inhale into the unit, a chemical sensor measures the volume of alcohol in their single breath. The chemical reaction obtained is then transformed into an electrical signal enabling individuals and security officers to read the results. Alcohol is convenient to detect, as the chemical reaction is particular and the concentration of the computed gas is deliberately high. But numerous other gases are intricate mixtures of molecules in highly low concentrations. Building such electrical noses to identify them is, therefore, a big challenge.
It is a highly sensitive nose that is created by the scientists from KU Leuven. The nose is crafted with metal-organic structures. “These MOFs are similar to microscopic sponges” describes the postdoctoral scientists Ivo Stassen. “These frames can captivate a big amount of gas into their miniature pores.”
“We crafted an MOF that takes up the phosphonates obtained from nerve gases and pesticides. It implies that you can utilize the nose for finding impressions of chemical weapons like sarin or for identification of the remaining of pesticides in all types of eatables and food items. This MOF is the highly sensitive gas sensor till date for such dangerous substances. Our calculations were performed in collaboration with imec, the Leuven-based research centre for nanotechnology. The absorptions we are dealing with are highly low, parts per billion. It is similar to a drop of water in a big Olympic swimming area – and fragments per trillion.”
The chemical sensors can conveniently be incorporated into the current electrical devices. Added by Professor Rob Ameloot, “You can spread over the MOF as a thin coating over the exterior of, for instance, an electronic circuit. Hence, it is deliberately convenient to furnish a smartphone with a gas sensor for nerve gas and pesticides.”
“Moreover research will enable us to analyse other submissions as well,” says Professor Ameloot. He continues by saying that, “MOFs can calculate greatly low concentrations, so we could utilize them to screen someone’s odour for ailments are related to the breath, like MS in the primary stage or lung cancer. Or we could utilize the signature scent of an item to locate whether food has been infected with pesticides, has gone bad or to differentiate imitation wine from the inventive. Such technology, in other terms, provides an extensive assortment of perspectives.”