Russian scientists have created ultra-precise and long-lasting “electronic nose”

The sense of smell is a truly amazing feeling. It allows you to not only smell, but also at a fairly advanced receptors (e.g., dogs) allows you to find dangerous substances. Not the first day, scientists around the world are trying to recreate a highly sensitive nose in the form of electronic devices, and recently the group of Russian scientists managed to develop the most accurate to date electronic nose.

It is worth noting that the electronic nose is radically different from the gas analyzers. The latter can only distinguish certain substances, but the noses are devices to recognize a wide class of chemicals. They can not only distinguish odors, but also to remember new thanks to machine learning.

“Training” the electronic nose is almost indistinguishable from dog training: a computer, equipped with sensors, demonstrates the desired smell, which is assigned a specific designation in the database. Moreover, the stored “image” of the odor, and subsequently it can be not only allocated in some other, but also associated with similar. If necessary, the smell of new notes and its comparison with a similar, forming a cross-odors (e.g. odors of flowers). But unlike the “natural” electronic nose often “confused” out of the lab. As explained by one of the authors Victor Sysoev, Professor, Saratov state technical University,

“The fact that the sensors are unstable, and their readings drift with time. Because the sensors need a stable, avoiding drift. We have demonstrated how to approach this problem on the example of electronic nose based on multi-sensor matrix of metal-oxide”.

Conventional high-sensitivity sensors based on nanofibers can accurately recognize odors only a couple of weeks, and then require recalibration. But experts from Saratov state technical University took a different approach.

“We found that the stability of the electronic nose is mainly dependent on random changes in the composition of the ambient air, and enter the procedure geobotany nose ensures its stability for many years. Moreover, we first demonstrated the ability of the device to function for more than eight years. This result has not yet showed none of the artificial noses”.

In that case, if the final phase of testing succeeds, scientists will be able to create a “perfect” electronic nose, which can be used for gas analysis environments and identifying different smells.

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