Inspired by the surface of butterfly wings, researchers have developed a light-activated hydrogen sensor that produces ultra-precise results at room temperature.
The technology can detect hydrogen leaks well before they pose safety risks and can measure tiny amounts of the gas on people’s breath, for diagnosing gut disorders.
Commercial hydrogen sensors only work at temperatures of 150C or higher, but the prototype developed by researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, is powered by light instead of heat.
The sensor, based on bumpy microstructures that imitate the surface of butterfly wings, is detailed in a new study published in the journal ACS Sensors.
Co-lead researcher Dr Ylias Sabri said the prototype was scalable, cost-effective and offered a total package of features that could not be matched by any hydrogen sensor currently on the market.
“Some sensors can measure tiny amounts, others can detect larger concentrations; they all need a