June 16, 2024

500,000x Smaller Than a Human Hair: Game-Changing Electronic Sensor the Size of a Single Molecule

Researchers from numerous Australian universities have established an incredibly miniaturized piezoresistor, 500,000 times smaller than a human hair. This delicate electronic component transforms force into electrical signals, holding potential for ingenious applications in biosensors and health monitoring.
Australian scientists have developed a molecular-sized, more efficient version of a commonly used electronic sensor, in a breakthrough that might bring prevalent benefits.
Piezoresistors are frequently used to identify vibrations in autos and electronics, such as in smart devices for counting actions, and for airbag release in cars. They are likewise utilized in medical devices such as implantable pressure sensing units, in addition to in air travel and space travel.
Development in Piezoresistor Technology
In an across the country effort, researchers led by Dr. Nadim Darwish from Curtin University, Professor Jeffrey Reimers from the University of Technology Sydney, Associate Professor Daniel Kosov from James Cook University, and Dr. Thomas Fallon from the University of Newcastle, have actually established a piezoresistor that is about 500,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair.

Dr. Darwish said they had developed a more delicate, miniaturized kind of this essential electronic component, which transforms force or pressure to an electrical signal and is utilized in many everyday applications.
Prospective Applications and Features
” Because of its size and chemical nature, this new type of piezoresistor will open up a whole new world of chances for chemical and biosensors, human-machine interfaces, and health tracking devices,” Dr. Darwish said.
” As they are molecular-based, our new sensing units can be used to spot other chemicals or biomolecules like proteins and enzymes, which might be game-changing for detecting diseases.”
Scientific Basis Behind the Development
Dr. Fallon stated the new piezoresistor was made from a single bullvalene molecule that when mechanically strained reacts to form a brand-new particle of different shape, changing electricity flow by altering resistance.
” The different chemical kinds are known as isomers, and this is the very first time that reactions between them have actually been utilized to develop piezoresistors,” Dr. Fallon stated.
” We have had the ability to design the complex series of reactions that take place, comprehending how single molecules can respond and change in real-time.”
Ramifications for Molecular Electronics
Teacher Reimers said the significance of this was the capability to electrically detect the modification in the shape of a reacting molecule, back and forth, at about as soon as every 1 millisecond.
” Detecting molecular shapes from their electrical conductance is an entire brand-new principle of chemical sensing,” Professor Reimers said.
Partner Professor Kosov said comprehending the relationship in between molecular shape and conductivity will enable standard properties of junctions in between molecules and attached metal conductors to be identified.
” This new capability is important to the future advancement of all molecular electronics gadgets,” Associate Professor Kosov stated.
Referral: “Controlling piezoresistance in single particles through the isomerisation of bullvalenes” by Jeffrey R. Reimers, Tiexin Li, André P. Birvé, Likun Yang, Albert C. Aragonès, Thomas Fallon, Daniel S. Kosov and Nadim Darwish, 3 October 2023, Nature Communications.DOI: 10.1038/ s41467-023-41674-z.