Innovative mercury analysis, more places, less effort

Picoyune replaces complex equipment with reliable, portable, and easy to use devices.


Picoyune Runabout

Picoyune Runabout

The Picoyune Runabout is a portable mercury vapor analyzer. It is highly sensitive and selective to mercury. The analyzer uses a novel spectroscopic method, plasmonic sensing, based on changes in visible light transmission of a gold amalgam nanoparticle film.


Industrial hygiene, oil and gas, mining, air quality, emissions/fenceline.


  • Direct measurement with plasmonic sensor
  • No interference from hydrocarbons, water vapor, CO2, NOX, SO2, H2S, and more
  • Straightforward user interface
  • Wireless control
  • Portable


Analytic range 0.1-10,000 μg/m3
Size 12 x 10 x 8 in.
Weight 5 lbs
Battery life 8 hours per charge

Picoyune offers a thermal sample decomposition system that pairs with the Runabout for liquid and solid samples. Deploy quickly and get results immediately with this uniquely portable analyzer. The entire system is battery operable and requires no compressed gasses or consumables.


  • Measures wet/dry samples
  • No compressed gasses needed
  • Portable


Analytic range 0.050-50,000 ng
Sample interval 5 minutes
Size 16 x 8(DIA) in.
Battery life 5 hours per battery (swappable)

For quotes and product specifications contact Jay James (

Picoyune LeRoy

Our sensors require a high intensity light source of surpassing stability, tuned to the active bandwidth of our plasmonic film. By combining a high accuracy temperature sensor, and resistive heaters directly on the LED board, we were able to achieve the performance we required in a compact package.

We’re offering this innovative light source as a stand-alone package in a wide variety of narrow and broad band colors. View the LeRoy product page for more information.

View Details


Gold nanoparticle films are powerful tools for mercury analysis. Noble metal nanoparticles exhibit absorbance peaks in the visible range due to a phenomenon called localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR). Picoyune uses gold nanoparticles with peak absorption of ~520nm. This peak is sensitive to the particle size, shape, composition, and local index of refraction. Exposure of gold nanoparticles to mercury vapor causes a blue shift in the peak.

Picoyune’s innovation of applying LSPR to mercury is uniquely sensitive. Rather than cause a change in the local index of refraction, adsorbed mercury directly contributes to the LSPR of the gold/amalgam particles. Unlike other vapor species, mercury has the conduction band electrons needed to participate in plasmon resonance.

Gold, while largely inert, readily adsorbs mercury. Selective adsorption of mercury by gold is used in mercury analysis for trapping and concentrating mercury vapor. In plasmonic mercury sensing, this selective adsorption improves sensitivity, selectivity, and stability.

To summarize, plasmonic mercury sensing with gold nanoparticles has the benefit of a combination of selective mercury adsorption and the high sensitivity of the absorption peak to amalgamation.


  • Stay Informed

    Sign up for our newsletter to receive very occasional updates about Picoyune and our product development process.

The Team

Jay James, CEO

Jeff Crosby, CTO

Awards & Funding