Their findings are to be published,
They put the sensor to the test with various explosives - 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT), ammonium nitrate and nitrobenzene - and found that the device successfully detected the airborne chemicals at concentrations of 0.67 parts per billion, 0.4 parts per billion and 7.2 parts per million, respectively. One part per billion would be akin to a blade of grass on a football field.
The researchers noted that this is much more sensitive than the published results to date for other optical sensors.
"Optical explosive sensors are very sensitive and compact," said Zhang, who is also director of the Materials Science Division at the
The new sensor could have many advantages over current bomb-screening methods.
"Bomb-sniffing dogs are expensive to train and they can become tired," said study co-lead author
The sensor could also be developed into an alarm for unexploded land mines that are otherwise difficult to detect, the researchers said. According to
Unstable and hungry for electrons
The nanoscale plasmon sensor used in the lab experiments is much smaller than other explosive detectors on the market. It consists of a layer of cadmium sulfide, a semiconductor, laid on top of a sheet of silver with a layer of magnesium fluoride in the middle.
Keywords for this news article include: Nanoscale, Engineering, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies,
Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC
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