Let’s first get our hands on the terminology of a common sensor there is one feature which separates it from others and that is ruggedness and it can be e implicated as the ability of a device for maintaining its efficiency and performance even when it is working in quite intensive and adverse operating conditions.

And if I talk about the pragmatic sense the ruggedness can be translated to reliability. Wickedness has both its application in physical and chemical terms. A device which is physically rugged has the ability to surpass a mechanical shock, vibrations, and other kinds of mechanical stresses while on the other hand are chemical resonance suggest that it is it related to selectivity and it means that the output which is given by the sensor is not susceptible to the unforeseen chemical changes in the operating environment and it can give results despite the chemical changes.

What Are Chemical Sensors?

A common question that has been asked is that What Are Chemical Sensors? So let us first dive into the explanation of What Are Chemical Sensors?

A chemical sensor is basically a device that has the ability of the measurement of chemical qualities in a chemical substance which is under observation and then converts the sensed chemical data into electronic signals, chemical sensors have their uses in myriad explications such as medical, Automotive, nanotechnology, and Home detection systems.

What is Chemical Sensing?

Chemical Sensing is considered as a part of acquiring information in which a particular data is gathered about the composition regarding chemical aspects in the real-time environment. During all of this process, an electric signal which is highly amplified and is generated from the communication between some chemical species and the sensor. The communication on the interactions only consists of Two Steps number one is recognition and the second one is amplification.

Example Of Chemical Sensing

One of the quite common examples of chemical sensing is determining the pH level with the help of a glass electrode. it is been said that the communication or the interaction that happens between the hydronium ion with the electrode is quite specific but the power density which is present in the primary interaction is considered low and any type of effort for drawing in current for acquiring a signal from such kind of electrode is going to result in the distortion of the signal. in other words, it can be explained that the main source of the signal (which is electrodes) needs a high input impedance amplifier or a pH meter in order to gain the data in a useful and distorted form and in this way the recognition or selectivity is given by the use of some chemical interaction however the amplification must be given by the use of some physical transducer however there are some kinds of exceptions just like enzymatic reactions. In enzymatic reactions, the highest selectivity of enzyme binding is given for a specific substrate and can be combined with the catalytic properties of the enzyme which represents an amplification step in itself.

The coupling is performed on the chemically selective layer with respect to the physical part of the sensor is quite crucial. It has a profound effect on the overall performance of the sensor. And in some scenarios, the interaction which is highly selective can be destroyed if there is a use of improper transduction mechanism and also the subsequent manipulation of the signal can be achieved in so many different kinds of methods and with ranging degrees of sophistication. it can also be displayed in analog form subtracted from the reference signal and can be displayed as a difference. Or it has the ability to digitized and be processes in a statistic manner. It can also be processed distinctly and such kind of processing can be done within the physical boundary of the smart for integrated sensor itself or this whole procedure can be carried out in separate processor.

Types Of Chemical Sensors And Their Common Components

In the market, there are many types of chemical sensors available which are mainly designed for their intended function. But all of the sensors have these two common components which are called receptors and transducers.

The Receptor

The receptor is a part of a component of the chemical sensor that comes in contact with the analyte. Depending on the sensor the receptor come in contact with the analyte in different ways. For example, some receptors have the capability of treating chemical reactions with the analyst as a whole while the other receptors signal out specific molecules. sensors that single out specific molecules are referred to as more selective.

The Transducer

The other component which is common in all kinds of chemical sensor is called a transducer. Transducers have their usage for in taking the chemical information which comes as a result of the interaction between the receptor and analyte and then converts it into corresponding electrical information .this information which is collected by the transducer is sent to a microcomputer or a mechanical component. The transducer has the ability to increase or decreasing resistance, Trigger an audible alarm for the presentation of a data on a screen or user interface.

Application Of Chemical Sensors

There are the wide application of chemical sensors one of the perfect examples of a commonly used chemical sensor is called breathalyzer. when people take in alcohol, they exhale or emit some amount of alcohol molecule which is directly related to the amount of alcohol they have drunk. a breathalyzer is a chemical sensor that is specifically made to check a person's blood alcohol content to determine whether a particular person is capable of driving a vehicle or not .when the alcohol molecules come in contact with the receptor they come across another chemical substance which is being placed in the receptor called as sulfuric acid, potassium dichromate, silver nitrate, and water. this allows to initiation of a chemical reaction and when the chemical difference between the two chambers is determined electric signal is produced and then it indicates with the use of a screen or a user interface the blood alcohol content of the suspect.

Application Of Chemical Sensor In Food Industry

The application of chemical sensors in the food industry has now become a trend. Sensors have proven their presence in the modern world like mobile phone personal computers or tablets. The term sensor can be easily understood. The sensor is very quiet similar to a sense organ or tentacle of an ant. The chemical sensors are a special kind of sensors that can be found for example in a freezing storage place in the form of pressure sensors which has the capability of deduction of spoil food.

If I talk about a while ago the word sensor was not commonly used however if I talked about today sensors are becoming an important part of our daily life. With our world changing so rapidly and sensor are playing one of the significant part or role in this process.

Chemical sensors have the ability to detect and analyses our environment. Chemical sensors also determine which kind of substances are present and what quantity. Chemical sensors are basically the fruit of analytical chemistry which has the objective of solving such problems by the meaning of precise instruments in a well-acquitted laboratory. There is constant pressure from the customers for the improvement of food quality and safety and all of these factors need the development of sensible and reliable methods of analysis as well as the new technology for preservation of the freshness and food quality. the chemical and biological sensors are widely used for food monitoring and smart packaging. Chemical sensors are being used for raw material testing authenticity evaluation and identification of genetically modified materials, allergens, pathogenic are chemical contamination. The incorporation of chemical sensors in smart packaging has now become a trend and this trend is increasing and has already caused drastic commercial success for the assessment of the food freshness. The development and implementation of chemical and biological sensors for food monitoring application and their potential are being used as labels and smart packaging.

azo sensors write that,

Quality control of a wide range of beverages, pharmaceutical, and food products needs objective taste evaluation. In 2010, Kobayashi Y et al from Kyushu University developed advanced taste sensors using artificial-lipid membranes based on human sensory scores and global selectivity. These sensors were found to respond similarly to basic tastes, and so they are quantified with high correlations to sensory score. These sensors can quantify the tastes of bitterness, richness, astringency, sourness, saltiness, and umami without artificial neural networks or multivariate analysis.

In 2012, Kladsomboon S et al from Mahidol University, Bangkok, proposed a method for detecting alcohol vapors including isopropanol, ethanol, and methanol-based on optical sensing response magnesium 5,10,15,20-tetraphenyl porphyrin (MgTPP) thin films using optical spectrometry. The team used a technique that enables a laboratory UV-vis spectrometer to serve as an electronic nose with less modification.

20th Jul 2020 Syed Furqan Ali

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