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Hristo Stefanov presenting at the 17th Silicon Saxony Day at Dresden Airport, Germany

Silicon Saxony Day, the premier international high-tech and networking event in Saxony, offers a platform for cross-industry insights into cutting-edge technologies and solutions encompassing hardware, software, and connectivity. Beyond knowledge and technology transfer, this event fosters open exchange among developers, producers, and users of information and communication technologies (ICT).

This year, Silicon Saxony took place at Dresden Airport on 21 June 2023, and among the participants, the RADICAL project was represented by Hristo Stefanov from Smartcom, who presented an overview of our latest progress towards an innovative electronic sensor for atmospheric radicals and other gases.

According to Hristo, “Silicon Saxony is one of the premier exhibitions for the chips industry in Europe. We presented in the morning session on the Smart Systems stage which included talk on Smart Digital Systems, Autonomous Systems, Artificial Intelligence and Microelectronics. Very few of the visitors knew about the importance of low-cost sensors to achieve the EU’s targets for clean air and were interested in the new silicon nanowire technology which is very power efficient.”

Download the presentation from the event on our Open Access RADICAL repository here: “A low-cost electronic sensor to detect atmospheric radicals and other gases” by Hristo Stefanov, Smartcom for Silicon Saxony 2023

First slide of Hristo’s presentation

The Role of Hydroxyl Radicals in Air Pollution:

Hydroxyl (OH) radicals play a vital role in atmospheric oxidation, serving as nature’s way of purifying the air. Through oxidation, OH radicals transform harmful gas pollutants into harmless molecules, compelling gases to form particles known as aerosols. These aerosols can be naturally removed from the atmosphere through processes such as rainfall, deposition onto surfaces, or artificial filtration when radicals are employed for industrial cleaning.

The Limitations of Current Radical Measurement Techniques:

Traditional methods of measuring radicals rely on spectroscopic and mass spectrometric approaches. While sensitive and robust, these techniques are technically complex, cumbersome, and expensive. Recognising this, the RADICAL project centres its efforts on developing radical sensors on a silicon junctionless nanowire transistor (Si JNT) platform, utilising organic surfaces on confined 1D interfaces. Remarkably, Si JNTs have already achieved record-low concentrations of the protein streptavidin in the zeptomolar range when operating in a liquid phase. However, their potential for gas-phase sensing remains unexplored.

The RADICAL Project: Revolutionizing Radical Sensing:

The RADICAL project’s central aim is to leverage this state-of-the-art nanowire transistor technology to fabricate radical sensors on the Si JNT platform. By integrating organic surfaces on confined 1D interfaces, researchers seek to overcome the limitations of current measurement techniques. This innovative approach holds tremendous promise for cost-effective, streamlined, and highly sensitive radical detection. Furthermore, the project benefits from the incorporation of Smartcom Synapse, a modular logging device designed for IoT data acquisition and processing, enhancing the functionality and data analysis capabilities of the sensor.

Driving Environmental Sustainability and Understanding:

Through the RADICAL project’s pioneering research and development, we move closer to a comprehensive understanding of the crucial link between radicals and air pollution. By revolutionising radical sensing technology, we unlock new avenues for monitoring and mitigating the impact of air pollution. These advancements contribute to our collective pursuit of meeting environmental sustainability goals and fostering a cleaner, healthier future.

More than 600 technology experts from science, research and industry met for the 17th Silicon Saxony Day
The participants came from 20 countries, including several European delegations as well as more than 100 international students.

If you’d like to find out more about RADICAL and explore possible collaborations, we’d love to hear from you.

Follow our progress with RADICAL