Researchers develop ultra-sensitive UV light sensor for improved fire detection
Detecting smoke is crucial in saving lives and property during the early stages of a fire outbreak. However, the currently used photo-electric smoke sensors can only detect larger smoke particles found in dense smoke and fails to sense small particles of smoke from rapidly burning fires. Looking into the situation, researchers at the University of Surrey’s Advanced Technology Institute have developed a method. Manipulating zinc oxide, they have produced nanowires from a new material to develop a ultra-violet light detector. The ultra-sensitive UV light sensor is 10000x more sensitive to UV light than the traditional smoke detectors.
The new material developed by the researchers is believed to increase the sensor’s sensitivity so that it can detect the fire during its early stage. Increased sensitivity and reaction speed is achieved as the researchers have transformed zinc oxide from a flat film to structure with bristle-like nanowires to increase the surface area.
Besides offering improved fire detection with the ultra-sensitive UV light sensor, the new technology can be used other fields too. It can be used in air pollution monitoring and also the sensor can be integrated into personal electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets to increase speed with a response time 1,000 times faster. The future of this concept looks bright because not only the nanowired material is adaptable for personal use but it is highly affordable too.
Via: University of Surrey