Posted: May 15th, 2012 Single-chip ethylene sensor to monitor fruit ripening ( Nanowerk News ) Imec and Holst Centre have demonstrated a single-chipelectrochemical sensor for ethylene monitoring with a detectionlimit of 200-300ppb (parts per billion). Imec and Holst Centre'ssolution enables small-size and low-cost ethylene detection systemsapplicable in the fruit distribution and retail sector. Ethylene is a gaseous plant hormone, produced by fruit, andresponsible for the ripening of fruit. It is also sprayed in highconcentrations (~1,000 ppm) in the warehouse, to force fruit toripen, so it is ready to eat when it reaches consumers. Inexpensiveand accurate ethylene sensors would enable better control of thatprocess, and allow the distribution sector and retailers to avoidwaste. |
Today's ethylene detection systems are lab-scale, expensivetable-top devices, not suitable for the above mentionedapplications. Imec and Holst Centre's ethylene sensor is a low-costelectrochemical sensor based on a non-acidic electrolyte that doesnot evaporate. It can be fabricated on cheap substrates such asglass or foil. Recent improvements have shown that the ethylenesensor is able to detect 100ppb steps in concentrations below 1ppm,which makes it directly useful in warehouse applications. To ourknowledge, it is the first time that a single-chip ethylene sensorhas been demonstrated combining low, industrially relevantdetection limits with low power consumption and low cost.
We are ready to work with component suppliers for industrializationof this new sensor and with system suppliers to integrate thesensor into ethylene measurement and control systems. We arefurther miniaturizing the sensor, and increasing the performancetowards lower detection limits (~10-20 ppb) to enable otherapplications such as monitoring of plants, vegetables, flowers, ...in greenhouses.. Also, further decreasing its power consumption, afurther improvement of dedicated read-out electronics to enableminiaturization of the system as a whole, and the development ofthe sensors onto flexible substrates is planned, paving the way foruse in smart packaging. About imec Imec performs world-leading research in nanoelectronics.
Imecleverages its scientific knowledge with the innovative power of itsglobal partnerships in ICT, healthcare and energy. Imec deliversindustry-relevant technology solutions. In a unique high-techenvironment, its international top talent is committed to providingthe building blocks for a better life in a sustainable society.Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices inBelgium, the Netherlands, Taiwan, US, China, India and Japan. Itsstaff of close to 2,000 people includes more than 600 industrialresidents and guest researchers. In 2011, imec's revenue (P&L)was about 300 million euro.
Further information on imec can befound at www.imec.be. About Holst Centre Holst Centre is an independent open-innovation R&D centre thatdevelops generic technologies for Wireless Autonomous TransducerSolutions and for Systems-in-Foil. A key feature of Holst Centre isits partnership model with industry and academia around sharedroadmaps and programs. It is this kind of cross-fertilization thatenables Holst Centre to tune its scientific strategy to industrialneeds.
Located on High Tech Campus Eindhoven, Holst Centre benefits fromthe state-of-the-art on-site facilities. Holst Centre has over 150employees from around 25 nationalities and a commitment from morethan 30 industrial partners. Visit us at.
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