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Researchers to Develop Silicon Carbide Sensors to Monitor Volcanic Status

Prior indications about the volcanic eruptions can be gained by releasing superior heat-tolerant radio wave transmitters into the volcanoes.

The traditional silicon based electronic technology is non-operative at high-thermal hotspots with approximately 6600 F or at 3500 C. To enhance the efficiency, the latest electronic technology employs silicon carbide which is capable of resisting a maximal of 1,650 F or 9000 C.

The scientists are trying to incorporate the derivatives of the silicon-carbon compound into miniature equipments that are of an iPhone size. The researchers were able to deposit such tools deep into the earth for calculating even minute differences in the rate of discharge of major gases such as sulfur dioxide and carbon dioxide from the volcano. They then tried to transmit the live information wirelessly to the earth’s surface, furnishing important data related to the volcanic functionality and its possible outburst.

Alton Horsfall, physicist at the England-based Newcastle University explained that presently, they were not able to trace the interior status of the volcano precisely and that they are still experimenting on the process by employing a latest silicon carbide technology for advancing a wireless data transmission system which will be capable of gathering and communicating the chemical information from the interior of the volcano.

These robust devices can also help in monitoring explosives and the highly-resistant silicon carbide is unaffected by the radiation which promotes its utility in the nuclear sectors. The problem encountered while developing such a device was with the charging of such equipments, for batteries cannot be operated in extreme high-thermal zones. Horsfall stated that the general quality of batteries will burst at temperatures higher than 1500 C and that the auto-charging power generating systems are vital for such applications.

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