Introducing the Gizmag Store

Scientists develop spray-on explosive detector

By

May 26, 2008

May 27, 2008 Scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a spray-on explosive detector that glows blue under UV light in the presence of nitrogen-containing explosives. The silafluorene-fluorene copolymer is sensitive enough to detect just a billionth of a gram of explosive.

The polymer detects particles instead of vapor, making it accurate enough to act as a switchable sensor with picogram (10-15g) detection limits – the first polymer of its kind to do so. After further exposure, nitrate esters like trinitroglycerin will change color to a green-yellow, with nitroaromatic explosives like TNT remaining blue, increasing its usefulness to investigators and forensic analysts.

The technology is currently being commercially produced by RedXDefense. The researchers are now working on a similar system to detect peroxide-based explosives, with hopes to investigate perchlorates and organic nitrates further down the road.

Tags
Related Articles

Just enter your friends and your email address into the form below

For multiple addresses, separate each with a comma




Privacy is safe with us because we have a strict privacy policy.

Looking for something? Search our 26,500 articles