May 3, 2014 @ ScienceCodex
“We have developed a high-resolution pressure sensor that indicates pressure by varying its color — a sensor that all of us can use with just our eyes,” said Yadong Yin, an associate professor of chemistry, whose lab led the research.
“This increased separation alters the way the nanoparticles interact with light,” Yin explained. “When linked together, the gold nanoparticles originally appear blue. But they gradually change to red with increasing pressure as the nanoparticles start disassembling. This easily and visually helps us figure out how much pressure has been applied.”
The sensor that Yin’s lab developed differs from commercially available pressure sensor films. The latter indicate pressure by changing the intensity of just one color (for example, a pale red to a darker red). They tend to be difficult to interpret and have low resolution and contrast.
The new technology produces a mosaic of easy-to-distinguish colors and has the benefit of higher contrast and resolution. It can potentially be used in many safety devices for revealing pressure distribution over even very complex surfaces.
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