KU Newsletter (December 2014)
KU Dept. of Environmental Health Science Research Team Finds Evidence of Transfer of Quantum Dots in an Aquatic Food Chain

Photo: Dr. Yong Ju Yun
(KU Dept. of Materials
Chemistry & Engineering)

A domestic research group including researchers from the Konkuk University (KU) Dept. of Materials Chemistry & Engineering has developed a sensor which can detect smell and gas in a form of a thin yarn. This research is expected to lead to improvements in life quality by utilizing the flexible, fiber-based gas sensor on items like clothing.

On June 18, 2015, Dr. Yong Ju Yun of the KU Dept. of Materials Chemistry & Engineering (researcher at the KU Academy of Applied Science and Technology) revealed the successful development of a flexible, ultrasensitive, and washable fiber-based gas sensor together with the research team led by Dr. Hyung-Kun Lee of the Nano Convergence Sensor Research Section at the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI). The study results were published online on June 4, 2015, in the Scientific Reports, a sister journal of Nature.

The newly developed technology incorporates the principle of confirming the presence of gas in the air through textile coated with graphene, by applying molecular glue to nylon, cotton, polyester and other kinds of existing textiles. When the coated graphene contacts the NO₂ in the gas, the resistance of graphene oxide alters, and the gas concentration can be identified through the amount of difference. Using this method, the research team explained, creating a gas sensor which selectively detects harmful gas was possible. When applied to wearable appliances or clothing, this technology can easily inform the wearer of the harmful gases in the surrounding. Furthermore, it can be useful for fire suppression and inspecting the air quality of the space inside manholes.

“Wearable gas sensor can be developed using flexible fiber used in everyday life and be directly applied to large-scale textile production,” explained Dr. Yun. “We are aiming at commercializing it within three years through academic-industry cooperation; we anticipate great changes in our daily lives.”