SensNews November 2018

Sensor100 November 2018 28 Meet the E-NoseThat Actually Sniffs TruffleBot identifies smells by measuring small changes in air pressure and temperature An electronic nose typically identifies odors by detecting the “fingerprint” of a chemical compound across an array of sensors mon- itored by pattern-recognition software. E-nose technology is already in use across many industries, including agricultural, environmental, food, manufacturing, and the military. At Brown University in Rhode Island, electrical engineer Jacob Rosenstein and colleagues are now taking electronic noses a hop, skip, and a boogie closer to the real thing with a device that actually sniffs odors, sucking up vapors in a premeditated pattern through four pathways, and moving those va- pors across chemical and mechanical sensors. In addition to sniffing, their device, named TruffleBot, measures small pressure and temperature changes—physical characteristics that can be used to identify a smell. In an analysis of nine odors, including those from cider vinegar, lime juice, beer, wine, and vodka (and using ambient air as a control), the team found that chemical sensors alone accurately identified an odor about 80 percent of the time.The addition of sniffing im- proved accuracy to 90 percent.Throw in the pressure and temperature readings and the e-nose recognized an odor 95 percent of the time. IEEE Spectrum 26 October Oxford HighQ launches to develop quantum-era sensors Oxford HighQ, a University of Oxford spin-out has raised £2m in seed funds to devel- op devices with sensitivity up to 10,000 times that of currently available optical sensing technologies. JeremyWarren, OxfordHighQ Co-Founder and CEO, said:“We expect that HighQ’s ability to design, fabricate and operate optical microcavities will deliver profound advances in the sensing of nanoparticles and chemicals in fluids. Early applications will be in laboratory instruments, but the potential for compact devices relevant to several market sectors is clear.” Reported by: CleanroomTechnologies 12 November