Intelligent Machines

Cheaper Chemical Sensor

  • June 23, 2009

A new portable sensor system detects airborne organic chemicals about as accurately as a $25,000 machine confined to a lab. The device’s sensor element (above) holds an array of polymers deposited between capacitance plates; their ability to store electrical charge changes in specific ways when certain molecules are absorbed, enabling the device to identify those agents. The system incorporates a polymer called BSP3, invented at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, that is especially responsive to compounds such as nerve agents and certain pesticides.

Product: SeaPORT SC-210
Cost: About $3,000
Source: www.seacoastscience.com
Companies: Seacoast Science

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium

$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.

  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

You've read of free articles this month.