Revealing the secrets of liquids
Optics can be used in very creative ways in measuring almost any kinds of liquids: clean and pure, colourful, muddy and even those which have nanoparticles in them.
Solid inorganic materials such as metals and minerals and organic materials such as chlorophyll in liquids can be investigated by using optical sensors. The application possibilities are limitless, so it's no wonder that for example electricity and mining companies and also the food industry are very interested in optical sensor solutions at the moment. Another application of optical sensing is the detection and monitoring of nanoparticles in nanomedicine.
In the future, it may be possible, for example, to place wireless sensors in the middle of a lake and get critical information from there in real time. This is very important in, for example, nuclear power plants and mining areas, as well as in the monitoring of the quality of natural water bodies used for drinking water.
At the moment, these kinds of measurements are time-consuming and performed in laboratories on various expensive pieces of equipment. Getting all the information from just a couple of cheap sensors straight to your mobile phone would really save time and money. Of course, the future goals also include the development of sensors that are portable and as small as possible.
- Professor Kai Peiponen