All-Metamaterial Optical Gas Sensor

Researchers have created the first completely integrated, non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) gas sensor, made possible by metamaterials, specially engineered synthetic materials. The optical gas sensor is among the smallest NDIR sensors ever made, needs little energy to operate, and has no moving parts. The sensor is perfect for new Internet of Things and smart house gadgets that recognize and react to environmental changes. Future medical diagnostic and monitoring devices might also use it.

The sensor’s architecture combines efficiency, reliability, and simplicity. They can eliminate the dielectric filter, one of the major NDIR gas sensors’ expense factors, while also reducing the size and power requirements of the apparatus by using metamaterials. Because of this, the sensors can be used in low-price, high-volume industries like consumer electronics and vehicles.

Regarding business relevance, NDIR sensors are among the most useful optical gas sensors. They evaluate car exhaust, gauge air quality, find gas leaks, and support various medical, industrial, and research applications. For these and other applications, the new sensor’s small size, potentially low cost, and reduced energy requirements offer new possibilities.

Infrared light is typically shone through the air in a chamber by conventional NDIR sensors until it hits a detector. The quantity of light entering the detector reveals the concentration of a particular gas in the air thanks to an optical filter placed in front of it that filters out all light except the wavelength absorbed by a particular gas molecule.

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