LL Technology Office Seminar: Smartphones and Chem/Bio-Sensors: Optical and RF Interfaces

Wednesday, April 03, 2024 at 11:00am to 12:00pm

Virtual Event


Smartphones deliver information on our motion, spatiotemporal position, capture images, and of course communicate to an infrastructure that provides coverage throughout the developed world. My group has had a long-standing interest in devising ways in which smartphones can be connected to sensors and I will summarize various methods. We have used smartphones to detect light intensity and optical scattering events using dynamic liquid lens systems that respond to biological stimuli, and I will provide examples for quantification of enzyme activity and pathogenic bacterial detection. The CMOS detectors in smartphones have untapped potential in the detection of emissive signals. A smartphone’s rolling shutter can be used to create a time resolved spectrometer that can capture prompt fluorescence with concurrent illumination, and differentially detect delayed emission (and its decay) after the excitation is stopped. Most smartphones also have wireless capabilities, and we have shown that this nearfield RFID communication at 13.56 mHz can interfaced with chemiresistors. I will detail our efforts in creating quantitative biosensors with ultratrace detection capabilities and sensors for PFAS with ppt sensitivity. 


Timothy M. Swager is the John D. MacArthur Professor of Chemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A native of Montana, he received a BS from Montana State University in 1983 and a PhD from the California Institute of Technology in 1988. After a postdoctoral appointment at MIT he joined University of Pennsylvania from 1990–1996 and returned to MIT in 1996 as a Professor of Chemistry and served as the Head of Chemistry from 2005–2010. He has published more than 550 peer-reviewed papers and more than 120 issued/pending patents, and has founded five companies (DyNuPol, Iptyx, PolyJoule, C¬2 Sense and Xibus Systems)

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Events By Interest

Academic, Entrepreneurship

Events By Audience

MIT Community, Students, Alumni, Faculty

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School of Engineering (SoE), School of Science


cheme, smartphones, sensors, biosensors, LLTO



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