16-Sep-2020 - Chalmers University of Technology

Single atom-thin platinum makes a great chemical sensor

Atomically thin platinum could be useful for ultra-sensitive and fast electrical detection of chemicals

Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, together with colleagues from other universities, have discovered the possibility to prepare one-atom thin platinum for use as a chemical sensor. The results were recently published in the scientific journal Advanced Material Interfaces.

"In a nutshell, we managed to make a metal layer just one-atom thick - sort of a new material. We found that this atomically-thin metal is super sensitive to its chemical environment. Its electrical resistance changes significantly when it interacts with gases,", explains Kyung Ho Kim, postdoc at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory at the Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience at Chalmers, and lead author of the article.

The essence of the research is the development of 2D materials beyond graphene.

"Atomically thin platinum could be useful for ultra-sensitive and fast electrical detection of chemicals. We have studied the case of platinum in great detail, but other metals like palladium produce similar results", says Samuel Lara Avila, Associate Professor at the Quantum Device Physics Laboratory and one of the authors of the article.

The researchers used the sensitive chemical-to-electrical transduction capability of atomically thin platinum to detect toxic gases at the parts-per-billion level. They demonstrated this with detection of benzene, a compound that is carcinogenic even at very small concentrations, and for which no low-cost detection apparatus exists.

"This new approach, using atomically thin metals, is very promising for future air-quality monitoring applications", says Jens Eriksson, Head of the Applied sensor science unit at Linköping University and a co-author of the paper.

Facts, background information, dossiers
More about Chalmers University of Technology
  • News

    New electronic paper displays brilliant colours

    Imagine sitting out in the sun, reading a digital screen as thin as paper, but seeing the same image quality as if you were indoors. Thanks to research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, it could soon be a reality. A new type of reflective screen - sometimes described as 'elect ... more

    World first concept for rechargeable cement-based batteries

    Thanks to unique research from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, such a vision could someday be a reality. Researchers from the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering recently published an article outlining a new concept for rechargeable batteries - made of cement. The ev ... more

    Big breakthrough for 'massless' energy storage

    Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have produced a structural battery that performs ten times better than all previous versions. It contains carbon fibre that serves simultaneously as an electrode, conductor, and load-bearing material. Their latest research breakthrough pave ... more