Scientists at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have come up with a way to provide clean hydrogen energy. Researchers claim that they are the first hydrogen sensors that fulfill the performance demands for hydrogen powered automobiles.
Nature Material recently published the findings. . The new devices comprises an optical nano sensor encapsulated in plastic. The hydrogen sensor functions on Plasmon phenomenon, which is an optical process. Plasmon takes place when metal nanoparticles capture visible light and illuminate. With change in environment, the sensor also changes color. , Authors of the study, Ferry Nurggroho and Christopher Langhammer realized the importance of discovery during their doctoral research.
Sensors Take Care of Highly Inflammable Property of Hydrogen
Hydrogen is a renewable and clean source of energy which can power automobiles. Water is the sole emission from such vehicles. Nevertheless, hydrogen catches fire easily upon reacting with air due to its excessively inflammable nature. Owing to this drawback, it requires extremely efficient sensors.
The sensors have a plastic coating around them. It is not only for protection, but also is an important component. Plastic surges the response time speeding up the growth of hydrogen gas molecules in metal particle, at the site of detection. Moreover, the plastic helps in creating an effective barrier against the environment, restricting other molecules from deactivating and entering the sensors. As a result, the sensors can operate without disturbance and with efficiency. This prompts the surging demand in automobile sector to detect 0.1% hydrogen in air below one second.
Ferry, a researcher at Chalmers, in Department of Physics, stated that this is the fastest hydrogen sensor in the world. It is known for its long term stability and efficiency. It does not even need recalibration that often since plastic coating protects it.