With the increased and continuous threat of terrorist attacks in public areas, new sensors are required to safeguard the public from home-made explosive devices. Current commercial sensors for explosive vapors are high-cost, bulky equipment not amenable to mass production, thus limiting their widespread deployment within society. We are conducting research on polymer-based microsensors that can overcome these limitations. Our devices offer an approach to the realization of low-cost sensors that can readily be placed as a network of electronic sentinels that can be permanently located in areas of public access. The polymers are chemically tailored to have a high affinity for nitro and peroxide vapors and are grown electrochemically on microelectrodes. Novel nanoporous polymer-based sensors are demonstrated with a detection level of 200 ppb of nitro vapors. In addition, a prototype reversible sensor for peroxide vapors is demonstrated to low ppm concentrations.
- explosive sensors
- nanoporous polymers