Researchers at the University of Southampton and the Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have designed a graphene-based sensor that can detect harmful air pollution in the home with very low power consumption.

The sensor detects individual CO2 molecules and volatile organic compound (VOC) gas molecules found in building and interior materials, furniture and even household goods. These harmful chemical gases have low concentrations of ppb (parts per billion) levels and are extremely difficult to detect with current environmental sensor technology, which can only detect concentrations of parts per million (ppm). According to the team, the new sensing technology allows realizing significant miniaturization, resulting in weight and cost reduction in addition to the remarkable improvement in the detection limit from the ppm levels to the ppb levels.

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