Explosive Detecting Nano Chip
Security one of the most important issues in today’s society. From terrorist attacks in the worlds major cities to IED’s on the battlefields, bombs and explosive devices are deadly. Tradition methods of bomb detection rely on sophisticated equipment, highly trained personnel, and bomb sniffing dogs. This is not only risky for the personnel involved, but also has potential for human error. However, a revolutionary new electronic chip is about to make bomb detection easier, safer, and more efficient than ever.
This groundbreaking chemical sensor is inspired by nanotechnology. It was designed and created by Prof. Fernando Patolsky of Tel Aviv University’s School of Chemistry and Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology. The nano-sized chip is capable of picking up the scent of explosive molecules better than a detection dog’s nose. This research was recently published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.
This innovative sensor when compared to existing sensors is a drastic improvement. Existing sensors are expensive, bulky, and require expert interpretation of the results. In contrast, the new sensor is mobile, inexpensive, and identifies in real time. This new sensor is so accurate that it can detect explosives in the air at concentrations as low as a few molecules for 1,000 trillion. Prof Patolsky elaborated on this new technology, “Using a single tiny chip that consists of hundreds of super sensitive sensors, we can detect ultra low traces of extremely volatile explosives in air samples, and clearly fingerprint and differentiate them from other non-hazardous materials. . . In real time, it detects small molecular species in air down to concentrations of parts-per-quadrillion, which is four to five orders of magnitude more sensitive than any existing technological method, and two to three orders of magnitude more sensitive than a dog’s nose”. The use of this technology has the potential to completely change the way hazardous materials are detected.
Currently Prof. Patolsky and his team are performing multiple and extensive field tests of prototype devices of the sensor. Once these tests are complete this new device can be used by police and military forces around the globe not only reducing the risks traditionally involved in explosive detection, but also doing it quicker with a higher accuracy has the potential to save thousands of lives. This technology has been in the process of development since 2007 and is expected to hit the market this year.
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