Light inspires one-atom-thick material to recognize gas molecules | University of Tartu Institute of Physics

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    Ülikooli 18–310, 50090 Tartu
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Faculty of Social Sciences
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+372 737 5957
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Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
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    Salme 1a–29, 50103 Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
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    Lossi 36–301, 51003 Tartu
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    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
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    Näituse 2, 50409 Tartu
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    Näituse 20–324, 50409 Tartu
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    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
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Faculty of Medicine
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Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
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    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
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    +372 737 5360
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    Jakobi 5–205, 51005 Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
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+372 737 5820
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Vanemuise 46–208, 51014 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
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    Vanemuise 46–208, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
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    +372 737 5445
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    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
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    Mäealuse 14, 12618 Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
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    W. Ostwaldi 1, 50411 Tartu
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    Ravila 14a, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
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    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
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    Riia 23, 23b–134, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu Observatory
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    Observatooriumi 1, Tõravere, 61602 Tartumaa
  • Institute of Technology
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    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
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    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Institutions
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    Uppsala 10, 51003 Tartu
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    Riia 23b, 51010 Tartu
  • Museum
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    Lossi 25, 51003 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
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    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Support Units
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    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 18, 51009, Tartu
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    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
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    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090 Tartu
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    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 102, 104, 209, 210, 50090 Tartu
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    Faculty address: 
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  • Procurement Office
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    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Student Council
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  • University of Tartu Press
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    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
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  • Tartu University Hospital
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  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Contacts of UT units

Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5341
Faculty address: 
Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5341
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 116–121, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of History and Archaeology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5651
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Estonian and General Linguistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5221
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Philosophy and Semiotics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5314
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 2, rooms 309–352, 51005 Tartu
  • Institute of Cultural Research
    Faculty phone: 
    (+372) 737 5223
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 16, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Theology and Religious Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5301
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18–310, 50090 Tartu
  • College of Foreign Languages and Cultures
    Faculty address: 
    J. Liivi 4, 50409, Tartu
  • Viljandi Culture Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 435 5232
    Faculty address: 
    Posti 1, 71004 Viljandi
Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5957
Faculty address: 
Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    + 372 737 5900
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Education
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6440
    Faculty address: 
    Salme 1a–29, 50103 Tartu
  • Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5582
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36–301, 51003 Tartu
  • School of Economics and Business Administration
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6310
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Institute of Psychology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5902
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 2, 50409 Tartu
  • School of Law
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5390
    Faculty address: 
    Näituse 20–324, 50409 Tartu
  • Institute of Social Studies
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5188
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 36, 51003 Tartu
  • Narva College
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 1900
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 2, 20307 Narva
  • Pärnu College
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 445 0520
    Faculty address: 
    Ringi 35, 80012 Pärnu
Faculty of Medicine
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5326
Faculty address: 
Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5326
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Biomedicine and Translational Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4210
    Faculty address: 
    Biomeedikum, Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Pharmacy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5286
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Dentistry
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 731 9856
    Faculty address: 
    Raekoja plats 6, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Clinical Medicine
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5323
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 8, 50406 Tartu
  • Institute of Family Medicine and Public Health
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4190
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 19, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5360
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 5–205, 51005 Tartu
Faculty of Science and Technology
Faculty phone: 
+372 737 5820
Faculty address: 
Vanemuise 46–208, 51014 Tartu
  • Dean's Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5820
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46–208, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Computer Science
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5445
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Estonian Marine Institute
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 671 8902
    Faculty address: 
    Mäealuse 14, 12618 Tallinn
  • Institute of Physics
    Faculty address: 
    W. Ostwaldi 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Chemistry
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5261
    Faculty address: 
    Ravila 14a, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Mathematics and Statistics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5860
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 18, 51009 Tartu
  • Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5027
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23, 23b–134, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu Observatory
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4510
    Faculty address: 
    Observatooriumi 1, Tõravere, 61602 Tartumaa
  • Institute of Technology
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4800
    Faculty address: 
    Nooruse 1, 50411 Tartu
  • Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5835
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Institutions
  • Library
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5702
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
  • Youth Academy
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5581
    Faculty address: 
    Uppsala 10, 51003 Tartu
  • Institute of Genomics
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4000
    Faculty address: 
    Riia 23b, 51010 Tartu
  • Museum
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5674
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 25, 51003 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Natural History Museum and Botanical Garden
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6076
    Faculty address: 
    Vanemuise 46, 51003 Tartu
Support Units
  • Administrative Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5606
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 4809
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 18, 51009, Tartu
  • University Office in Tallinn
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6600
    Faculty address: 
    Teatri väljak 3, 10143 Tallinn
  • Estates Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5137
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Finance Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5125
    Faculty address: 
    Jakobi 4, 51005 Tartu
  • Grant Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6215
    Faculty address: 
    Lossi 3, III floor, 51003 Tartu
  • Information Technology Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6000, IT-help: +372 737 5500
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Human Resources Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5145
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 302 and 304, 50090 Tartu
  • Internal Audit Office
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18-244, 51005 Tartu
  • Marketing and Communication Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5687
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, rooms 102, 104, 209, 210, 50090 Tartu
  • Office of Academic Affairs
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5620
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Procurement Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 6632
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18a, 51005 Tartu
  • Rector's Strategy Office
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5600
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • Student Council
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18b, 51005 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Press
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5945
    Faculty address: 
    W. Struve 1, 50091 Tartu
Other Units
  • University of Tartu Academic Sports Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5371
    Faculty address: 
    Ujula 4, 51008 Tartu
  • Tartu Student Village
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 740 9959
    Faculty address: 
    Narva mnt 25, 51013 Tartu
  • Tartu Students’ Club
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 730 2400
    Faculty address: 
    Kalevi 24, 51010 Tartu
  • Tartu University Hospital
    Faculty address: 
    L. Puusepa 1a, 50406 Tartu
  • University of Tartu Foundation
    Faculty phone: 
    +372 737 5852
    Faculty address: 
    Ülikooli 18, 50090 Tartu
  • View all other units

Light inspires one-atom-thick material to recognize gas molecules

Oxygen is an important gas, the amount of which has to be monitored in many fields of human activity, such as energy production, transport and medicine. For that purpose the sensors are used that transform the oxygen concentration in the surrounding environment to electric current and subsequently to bit-sequence. The newest gas sensors are based on thin film materials and the sensors that comprise merely one atomic layer are under the development. In a recently published article in the top class journal of applied physics Applied Physics Letters, the scientists at the Institute of Physics of the University of Tartu showed that the electrical conductivity of the one-atom-thick carbon material, i.e. graphene, becomes sensitive to oxygen level due to ultraviolet light.

Although the high gas sensitivity of graphene was demonstrated already in 2007, it was carried out in a very sterile environment of inert gases. In ambient atmosphere, where the gas sensors should really function, it is much more complicated. It becomes clear from the study of the scientists of the University of Tartu that in ambient atmosphere, the surface of graphene is totally passivated as so many oxygen and water molecules have been bound on its surface that there is no room left. Light, in particular ultraviolet light activates the surface of the sensor.

Of course, oxygen is not the only gas present in ambient atmosphere that could be detected by the nanosensor made of graphene. There are many more other useful, dangerous or toxic gases that need to be monitored and light could be a useful means for detecting those also. The research group of the Institute of Physics now studies the application of this principle in case of other gases under the large-scale project of the European Union “Graphene Flagship”, with the purpose to design and develop with their industrial partners from the European Union a graphene-based sensor node for environmental monitoring.

"The studies of graphene as a material with superb properties is a very good example on how quickly it is possible go from basic studies to practical applications – the researchers of this two-dimensional material were awarded with the Nobel Prize of Physics only in 2010. Recently initiated basic studies by the physicists and material scientists of the University of Tartu on the international level have created an opportunity to transfer recent scientific results into a new type of sensor in cooperation with enterprises. I hope that in near future we are able to find cooperation partners in Estonia, with whom we can use graphene in high-tech products," said Marco Kirm, the Vice Rector for Research of the University of Tartu.

A. Berholts, T. Kahro, A. Floren, H. Alles, R. Jaaniso. Photo-activated oxygen sensitivity of graphene at room temperature. Appl. Phys. Lett. 105, 163111 (2014). http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4899276.

Virge Tamme
Press Officer of the UT
Phone: +372 737 5683
Mobile: +372 5815 5392
E-mail: virge.tamme [ät] ut.ee
www.ut.ee

 

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