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Lab develops multi-purpose, battery-less chemical sensor

 

Narrator:       This is Science Today.  Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have developed a battery-less chemical sensor that can detect various molecules quickly without needing an external power source.

Wang:            This is a chemical sensor. Typically we detect any toxic molecules and the reason we're doing that is because we are a national security lab so we're particularly interested in homemade devices and potential threats to society.

Narrator:       Researcher Morris Wang is one of the scientists who developed these new chemical sensors. He explains how they could be used in the future as a bomb-detection tool.

Wang:            I envision we have these little devices, which are functioning as homemade explosive detection for example. Potentially in the airport or even at home, some kind of bomb, or potential explosive molecule in the air, our device will detect it.

Narrator:        The chemical sensor relies on interactions between molecules and semiconductor nanowires to create electricity in place of a traditional power source. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.