A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) has developed a graphene oxides-based sensor that can detect nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in the atmosphere. The sensor can detect as little as a single NO2 molecule among millions of other molecules and it works even at room temperatures, unlike other common nitrogen sensors that are known to be high temperature devices.

For the development of this sensor, the team used fibre bragg grating, an optical fibre similar to the ones used for communication purposes. However, it can reflect one particular wavelength of light and transmit others. The IISc team covered the fibre bragg grating with an ultra thin layer of reduced graphene oxide and developed the sensor. by modifying the optical fibre, the scientists were able to use it in different applications like gas sensing and bio-sensing.

The scientists added that all processes involved in fabricating the sensor, from manufacturing the etched fibre bragg grating to coating it with reduced graphene oxide, are scalable processes, which makes it easier to implement in large area sensors.