Unlike many conventional chemical detectors that require an external power source, Lawrence Livermore researchers have developed a nanosensor that relies on semiconductor nanowires, rather than traditional batteries.
The device overcomes the power requirement of traditional sensors and is simple, highly sensitive and can detect various molecules quickly. Its development could be the first step in making an easily deployable chemical sensor for the battlefield.
The Lab’s Yinmin “Morris” Wang and colleagues Daniel Aberg, Paul Erhart, Nipun Misra, Aleksandr Noy and Alex Hamza, along with collaborators from the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, have fabricated the first-generation battery-less detectors that use one-dimensional semiconductor nanowires.
The nanosensors take advantage of a unique interaction between chemical species and semiconductor nanowire surfaces that stimulate an electrical charge between the two ends of nanowires or between the exposed and unexposed nanowires.