Photo: "Smart Dust" Sensors to Be Used for Eco Detection



"Smart dust" particles self-assemble on drops of oil in water. The microscopic particles are flakes of porous silicon manufactured on the nanometer (one billionth of a meter) scale. The sensors can spontaneously assemble, orient, sense, and report on their local environment.

Researchers hope to use such tiny, cheap sensors to measure all manner of ecological variables, from chemicals in the soil to scents in the air.

Photograph by Jamie Link, UCSD


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