by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) May 05, 2014
A newly developed pressure sensor could help car manufacturers design safer automobiles and even help Little League players hold their bats with a better grip, scientists report. The study describing their high-resolution sensor, which can be painted onto surfaces or built into gloves, appears in the ACS journal Nano Letters.
Yadong Yin and colleagues explain that pressure is a part of our daily lives. We and the objects around us constantly exert pressure on surfaces, from a simple, light touch of a finger on a smartphone screen to the impact of a head-on car collision. To design better cars, smartphones and other objects we use every day, scientists need to know how much force they can withstand.
Most pressure gauges are bulky hunks of metal that can't fit into tight spaces. Other sensors on the market are thin and can indicate stresses with different shades of the same color, but they are difficult to interpret and have low resolution and contrast, says Yin. To overcome these challenges, the team turned to nanoparticles - which are so small that 1,000 would fit across the width of a human hair.
Tiny gold nanoparticles can join together in chains, and disrupting these chains results in a change in color. The researchers took advantage of that unique property to design a new type of pressure-sensor film, which is a deep blue color when the nanoparticles are linked together, but becomes ruby red when the nanoparticles irreversibly disassemble under stress.
"Our colorimetric sensor film changes color, not just color intensity, which gives us the benefit of higher contrast and resolution," says Yin. "We also can make it into a liquid, which can be painted on objects such as crash test dummies that have complex surfaces."
American Chemical Society
Space Technology News - Applications and Research
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.|