EPFL scientists have developed a unique system that can be used for detecting and analyzing molecules with very a level of high precision and without using any bulky equipment. This latest development paves the way for large-scale, image-based detection of materials assisted by artificial intelligence. The study has been reported in Science.
Organic compounds are typically detected and analyzed by infrared spectroscopy, but this method calls for complex procedures as well as huge and costly instruments which make device miniaturization quite difficult and thus limits its applications in certain medical and industrial applications and for collecting data out in the field, for example, for determining the concentrations of pollutants. Infrared spectroscopy is also essentially restricted by low sensitivities and thus needs large amounts of samples.
Conversely, a research team from EPFL’s School of Engineering and Australian National University (ANU) has designed a sensitive and compact nanophotonic system that is capable of identifying the absorption characteristics of a molecule without using traditional spectrometry. The researchers have already detected organic compounds, polymers, and pesticides with their system, which can also be used with CMOS technology.
The novel system features an engineered surface which is surrounded with countless numbers of very small sensors known as metapixels. These metapixels can create a unique bar code for each molecule that the surface comes into contact, and using advanced pattern recognition and sorting technology (for example, artificial neural networks) these bar code can be extensively analyzed. This study – which turns out to be a meeting point of nanotechnology, physics, and big data – has been reported in the Science journal.
Image Credit: © 2018 EPFL
News This Week
A red-hot anti-aging strategy quietly passed its first test earlier this year after 14 volunteers took drugs meant to kill off old, toxic cells in their bodies. The small study in people with [...]
Since the discovery of biological ion channels and their role in physiology, scientists have attempted to create man-made structures that mimic their biological counterparts. New research by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientists and [...]
Sometimes it is too cold for us and then too warm again - annoying dressing-undressing of sweaters and co. Is therefore required. However, that may change: researchers have developed a sophisticated textile that can [...]
What is Global Health Care Equivalency (GHCE)? Looking ahead over the next 10-30 years, with the rapid emergence of, and synergies between, the disciplines of nanotechnology, nanomedicine, and AI, we can envisage a future [...]
Researchers in Singapore have built a refrigerator that’s just three atoms big. This quantum fridge won’t keep your drinks cold, but it’s cool proof of physics operating at the smallest scales. The work is [...]
Note: This videoblog is in German. It was produced by the Institute of Art & Art Theory of the University of Cologne. Humanity faces epochal challenges in the age of digitization. In particular, [...]