On the electronics side, the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) was exhibiting a large area electroluminescent gas detector capable of providing local visual cues (lighting up progressively) upon gas and humidity detection, in real time. For humidity detection, just exhaling towards the sensor film created a diffuse luminous reaction across the sensor-equipped screen-printed electroluminescent display. The thin screen-printed displays contains a layer of a graphene oxide nanocomposite which becomes conductive in response to certain changes in the air composition, locally turning on the electroluminescent display while maintaining a direct relationship between light intensity and the conductivity.
Ruslan Álvarez, researcher at ICN2 explained eeNews Europe such reactive displays could be built to be invisible in the absence of detection (in airplaines, cars, hotel rooms or at home) but emit a clear visual signal in case of a particular gas detection. ICN2 has worked on a humidity sensor but is also working on the detection of different gases including for the medical market. One application could include breath detection and the intensity of breathing cycles, Álvarez noted. Such displays could be produced cheaply and could be functionalized to respond with light to gases such as CO, CO2 or NO and possibly other contaminants.