Search
Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

Singapore’s SERS Chip to Combat Air Pollution

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Researchers at the School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Biotechnology at Nanyang Technological University Singapore (NTU Singapore), led by Prof Ling Xing Yi, have made a surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) chip that can quickly and accurately find sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). These gases are emitted by automobiles and factories and have been linked to acid rain and breathing problems.

Gas chromatography and other common analysis methods are often used to find and measure SO2 and NO2 gases. But these kinds of tests must be done in a lab, can’t always find gases at low amounts, and are expensive. SERS technology, on the other hand, might be able to find pollutants in much lower amounts and is cheaper to run.

Image credit: ntu.edu.sg

SERS works by making the signal from each molecule’s scattered light stronger. When light is shone on a molecule, it spreads the light and makes what is called a spectrum. Like a fingerprint, each molecule has its range.

With SERS, the molecules of interest stick to a surface, like metal nanoparticles, and light from a laser excites them. The metal substrate makes the light-scattering signature stronger, which makes it possible to identify molecules at low concentrations with high sensitivity.

By looking at the SERS spectra, scientists can determine what chemicals are in a mixture. SERS can be used to do a lot of different things, like find biomarkers to help diagnose diseases or keep an eye on dangerous pollutants in the environment.

However, it is still hard to get low concentrations of gases to stick to the SERS substrate, and using the technology to identify gases is still a work in progress. This was the goal of a recent study that made a 1 cm by 1 cm chip that can measure and identify both gases at the same time.

Scientists tested how well the chip could pick up SO2 and NO2 in exhaust gases by exposing it to a mixture of SO2, NO2, and CO2, which was meant to look like car exhaust.

Climate change and pollution are two of the biggest problems that people face today. Being able to accurately identify gaseous molecules at low concentrations makes it easier to enforce environmental policies that will help solve these problems.

The results also show how machine learning (ML) and other forms of artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to improve the study of SERS spectra.

There are plans to make the test chip even better. Even though the study found that CO2 in the exhaust doesn’t change how much SO2 and NO2 can be measured, more research needs to be done to find out if other gases make it harder for the chip to find polluters.

The price of Raman spectroscopy and the size of the spectrometer are also important factors that affect how the chip can be used to track emissions from cars and factories. In the future, the chip could be used as a sensor for on-site spying with the help of handheld or portable Raman spectrometers.

Using what they learned from their study, the researchers are now trying to make the platform able to find other gaseous pollutants like chlorine, bromine, ammonia, and ethylene oxide. In the future, they want to put the chip into a high-throughput data collection system that will let the SERS spectra be collected automatically for environmental tracking.

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

PARTNER

As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

PARTNER

Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

PARTNER

HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

PARTNER

IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and consulting services provider, helping clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,800 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently, and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity, and service. For more information, visit www.ibm.com