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Just what is an electronic nose? Updates from the RADICAL project

he H2020 FET RADICAL project led by Prof Justin Holmes (ERI, School of Chemistry) is delighted to share its first annual newsletter. RADICAL aims to develop electrical sensors for detecting atmospheric radicals. Radicals are important for controlling the quality of the air we breathe.  Currently, only a few labs world-wide can detect atmospheric radicals at low concentrations and the equipment used by these groups is often expensive, complex and immobile.  In contrast, the sensors we are developing in RADICAL will be simple and portable.

Despite delays due to the Covid pandemic, the RADICAL team has made good progress over the last 12 months. Some of these research highlights include the fabrication of junctionless transistors (JNTs) by HZDR, that will act as the ‘electronic nose’ of our sensors, the creation of the RADICAL website (, led by our SME partner Smartcom and the development of new approaches for trapping radicals on surfaces led by the University of York and the National Technical University of Athens. At UCC we have been busy setting up an atmospheric chamber and plan to conduct our first sensor ‘test’ experiments over the coming months. Our achievements over the last year have been made possible by the great admin and management support provided by UCC Academy. 

We hope you enjoy the newsletter and if you want to know more about RADICAL then please follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn, or get in touch by sending an email to

Download the RADICAL newsletter 2021 here: and watch our new short animation below to find out more about the project!