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Your Environment. Your Health.

December 2020 Superfund Research Program Science Digest

Superfund Research Program Science Digest
Balancing Scientific Excellence with Research Relevance

Technology Profile

mercury monitor

Researchers at Picoyune, an SRP-funded small business, are developing a miniaturized, low-cost mercury sensor and applying it to personal exposure monitoring. The portable device is a good fit for testing in the field as there is no need for heavy lab equipment or carrier gas. It is also a practical mercury monitor for vulnerable artisanal/small-scale gold mining communities and recently won the 2020 Artisanal Mining Grand Challenge.

Technology Miniaturized plasmonic detector for mercury monitoring
Innovation This project demonstrates the feasibility of a powerful and sensitive mercury vapor sensor that is less than 0.2 centimeters cubed in volume, draws less than 1 Watt, and costs less than $40 in parts. Instrument portability allows new applications in the field, including a wearable monitor. This will be the first personal mercury monitor that is wearable, immediate, and accurate in complex environments. Newly available integrated optical modules are employed to measure the plasmonic signal of an amalgam nanoparticle film.
Contaminant and Media Mercury in gaseous, liquid, and solid samples.
Principal Investigator Jay James, Ph.D.
Institution Picoyune
Grant Number R43ES032383