Indian Institute of Science researchers have developed a highly sensitive nanometre-scale carbon monoxide sensor by employing an innovative fabrication technique. It is known that carbon monoxide (CO) can have adverse effects on the health of people exposed to it. Hence, it becomes necessary to have good, low-cost carbon-monoxide sensors. The research is published in Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical.
A sensor would be a thin, current carrying plate whose resistance changes on exposure to carbon monoxide. This in turn changes the value of the current flowing through it. This change when measured indicates the level of carbon monoxide in the air. Most available sensors are in the micrometer range, a nanometer-sized detector would have a higher sensitivity, but the cost of manufacturing it goes up as the size decreases. This is where the work of C.S. Prajapati and coworkers of Indian Institute of Science comes in.
The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology has a vision of deploying such sensors in large scale for pollution monitoring in large cities like Delhi and Bengaluru. For instance, if the sensors are installed in all traffic intersections, we can do real time mapping of pollution hot-spots in a city. This would be an enabler in realizing smart cities