Georgia Tech Professor of Electronics James Gole has an idea that may reduce the voltage consumption of biomedical sensors. He uses porous silicon and a unique metallization process for a new sensor that detects gaseous compounds. Unlike other sensors based on porous silicon, Gole and his collaborators reduce the resistance of the electrodes built into the silicon, allowing the sensor to operate between 1 and 10 millivolts. "It operates on a voltage much less than that of a watch battery," says Gole. "It is small enough to be taken into the field with a troop contingent or any other group concerned about the presence of harmful gases." The sensor is based on a silicon wafer and operates at room temperature. It is manufactured using integrated circuit production techniques. Gole says the sensor could be integrated into electronic equipment and used for making sensing arrays. For more information, call Gole at (404) 894-4029 or send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should be the perception of a product’s real-world performance with regard to the published spec sheet? While it is easy to assume that the product will operate according to spec, what variables should be considered, and is that a designer obligation or a customer responsibility? Or both?
Biomimicry has already found its way into the development of robots and new materials, with researchers studying animals and nature to come up with new innovations. Now thanks to researchers in Boston, biomimicry could even inform the future of electrical networks for next-generation displays.
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