Tiny Temperature Sensors!

TinyTempLuís Carlos first realized he might be able to make a nanothermometer while developing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) more than 15 years ago. His team observed that lanthanide ions in the diodes reacted to changes in temperature by reliably shifting the color they emitted.

Carlos, a nanomaterials scientist based at the University of Aveiro, recognized that these ions might have a destiny beyond simply supplying the color for LED lights or displays. So he and his colleagues submitted a paper demonstrating that lanthanide ions could be used as temperature sensors.

But its publication was initially turned down. What’s the point of using light emission to detect temperature, one reviewer asked, when easier and more robust techniques, such as thermocouples or infrared imaging, are already commercially available?

[Read the story at Chemical & Engineering News // January  18, 2017]