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Diamond trumps as sensor
Diamond trumps as sensorKeywords: Chromatography, Sensors
University of Tokyo researchers have used diamonds to fabricate a sensor for liquid chromatography applications that they claim are both more sensitive and more chemically stable than existing sensors.
The diamond sensor is capable of detecting glucose in urine samples running the liquid chromatography column with as much as 100 times greater sensitivity than existing platinum and carbon sensors. It can identify the presence of glucose in concentrations as low as 0.01 parts per million. Since the sensor can also detect the presence of normally difficult-to-spot substances such as caffeine, the researchers believe it can be used by food processors and drug-makers.
The sensor is made from a diamond film measuring 1cm by 1cm and 30microns thick that has been deposited upon a silicon substrate. Since electricity does not pass through a film made only of diamond, the material is doped with boron, a material normally dangerous to handle. The University of Tokyo research group, however, has been able to devise a safer procedure using boron dissolved in methanol.