Explosives-detection sensor made from paper
Although a good option for sniffing out explosives, a sniffer dog can be hurt or even killed if something goes wrong. We need a more reliable and trustworthy medium to conduct such searches. Here is where technology can step in for providing us an accurate solution for this problem. While detecting explosives, technologies like UV sensitive sprays, lasers, radiation scanners and terahertz are used extensively in spite of being rather expensive.
Dogs can't replace technology which is used for detecting explosives at airports, seaports, railways, malls, and other public spaces. Now, it has emerged that a renowned research scientist Dr. Krishna Naishadham and his team at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) has developed an all new ammonia paper sensor which is printable by inkjet printer. The best part about this sensor is that it is highly affordable and cost effective. It offers excellent explosive detection capability.
The process of manufacturing this sensor is pretty simple; it includes printing of carbon nanotubes on paper or materials similar to paper like plastic polyethylene terephthalate. Its ink also comprises of silver nanoparticles which can be further passed at a temperature of 100 degrees centigrade through an inkjet printer . The ink also undergoes sonification and is treated with ultrasonic waves as well.
The nanotubes are coated with an explosives sensor which can detect traces of ammonia. These nanotubes can also detect many other gases by adding different coatings. The detector works effectively and is highly accurate.
"This prototype represents a significant step toward producing an integrated wireless system for explosives detection," says Dr. Naishadham. "It incorporates a sensor and a communications device in a small, low-cost package that could operate almost anywhere."