India is no stranger to air pollution, with the capital, New Delhi, being identified as one of the most polluted cities in the world, several times. The harmful effects of this deteriorating air quality can be seen in the increasing number of patients with respiratory disorders. Now, a team of scientists have designed a novel gas sensor using MEMS technology that is compact, highly sensitive, consumes very little power and accurately detects gaseous pollutants like CO, CO2, NO2 & SO2.
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Micro electro-mechanical Systems (MEMS), the technology of microscopic devices with moving parts, are finding new range of applications in the recent past due to the trend of ‘miniaturization’. They are increasingly being applied to an array of sensor technologies, including gas sensors. However, for MEMS based gas sensors to detect small traces of gases, they need to operate at higher temperatures. Now, researchers have designed a microheater made of molybdenum, which can successful provide the required range of temperature for the sensor to operate.
Most methods that farmers follow today to control pests and save their crop are mostly reactive, which is done ‘after’ the damage has started. In addition, these methods either destroy other crops, or cause harm to animals that feed on them, or pollute the soil or air. Researchers have now found a ‘green’ and ‘clean’ way to detect crop pests before they start the damage. They have built a highly sensitive sensor that detects pheromones or chemicals released by insects for mating, which signal the presence of pests and thus prompt the farmers to take remedial measures.