Presentation Open Access

RADICAL at ASIC 2022 conference: "Developing an electronic sensor for detecting short-lived atmospheric radicals and other gases"

Holmes, Justin D.; Hellebust, Stig


Atmospheric radicals, particularly hydroxyl and nitrate, are the drivers of chemical processes that determine atmospheric composition and thus influence local and global air quality and climate. However, the detection of these short-lived atmospheric radicals is far from routine, and only a few labs worldwide can accurately measure their concentrations in air. Current techniques for measuring radicals are based on spectroscopic and mass spectrometric methods, which although sensitive and robust, are technically complex, cumbersome and expensive.

This presentation provides an overview, and a discussion of the latest results, from the EU-funded project ‘RADICAL’ which is developing a small, low-cost sensor to electrically detect short-lived atmospheric radicals in real-time. This will be the first gas sensor built from an array of junctionless nanowire transistors, which has proven popular for liquid-based sensors. Although challenging, RADICAL sensors not only have the potential to be rolled out on a global scale but can also be adapted to detect other important atmospheric gases, particularly on short-timescales. The project team welcome ideas and future collaborations for how these sensors might be best applied in real-life environmental monitoring situations.

Additional Information:

Professor Justin Holmes (University College Cork) delivered this presentation for the Air Sensor International Conference 2022 (11-13 May 2022), which brings together stakeholders from academia, government, communities, and commercial interests to promote and advance air pollution sensors, improve the data quality from these sensors, expand the pollutants measured, and foster community involvement in monitoring air quality.

RADICAL represents a 'Fundamental Breakthrough in Detection of Atmospheric Free Radicals'.

Find out more on the RADICAL project website:

The RADICAL project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement number 899282.

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