VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a miniature gas sensor that can be connected to mobile devices. Gas measurements made with smartphones will make activities such as the detection of internal air problems easier. In addition, sleep quality will be measurable with greater precision, using mobile healthcare applications which gauge carbon dioxide quantities.
The miniaturised gas sensor is based on Fabry-Pérot interferometers (FPI) - adjustable optical filters. Over the years, VTT has developed these for various spectroscopy-based applications, such as hyperspectral cameras for nanosatellite- and drone-based environmental monitoring, the early detection of skin cancer and fuel analysis for emission minimisation.
The tiny gas sensor developed by team's senior scientist Rami Mannila is based on channeling light through the sample being analysed. Penetrability at various light wavelengths can be used to determine the composition of the compound. Carbon dioxide is identified based on its strong absorption of light at a wavelength of 4.2 µm. In addition, a corresponding sensor technology can be used to simultaneously differentiate and detect other gases or substances based on the spectrum of their absorption peaks at various infra-red wavelengths.