UCSD chemists develop portable nerve gas sensor

cules of hydrogen fluoride hit its surface. "These silicon interferometers can detect very, very small changes in color," says Sailor.

The key to their sensitive detection is the use of a small laser, similar to that found in CD players, which measures the small changes in intensity of light reflecting from the optical coating on the surface of the silicon chip. "It turns out that if you take a laser that's at the right frequency that matches the properties of that layer, you can measure very small amounts of chemicals as they enter the coating," says Sailor.

While the diode laser that the UCSD scientists built for their sensor is a bit more sophisticated than those in inexpensive CD players, it can be reproduced cheaply. In fact, the researchers' first sensors were constructed from five inexpensive CD players they purchased at Fry's, a local electronics discounter. "Our program manager at the Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency, which sponsored our research, raised an eyebrow when I told him that story," says Sailor. "But for 24 bucks, we got an interferometer that was sensitive enough to detect chemicals in the parts per billion range."

The low-cost feature of the UCSD design should make it possible to deploy handfuls of sensors in a terrorist nerve-gas attack, like the 1995 Tokyo subway bombing, in which sarin was used. Because the laser is capable of recording the accumulation of hydrogen fluoride molecules on the silicon chip's surface, the sensor can also be used as a dosimeter. "You can tell how much nerve gas an area has been exposed to," says Sailor.

He says the main advantage of the sensor is that it is more specific to the detection of G-type nerve agents than the surface acoustic-wave devices, which are currently used to detect nerve gas, but which tend to produce an excess of false alarms.

"The advantage of this new development is that we'll be able to reduce the false-alarm rate," adds Sailor, whose team p

Contact: Kim McDonald
University of California - San Diego

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. NIH roadmap for biomedical research focus of chemists at American Chemical Society meeting
2. New multidisciplinary research tops chemists meeting Aug. 22-26
3. Wisconsin chemists find a new chink in TBs armor
4. UCLA chemists develop new coating for nanoscale probes
5. NJIT chemists pave way for cheap, usable field test for polluted, toxic, water, air, food
6. Frog skin and supercomputers lead Penn chemists to designing better bacteria killers
7. Purdue chemists put the twist on protein building block
8. New pollutant cleanup technique puzzles, pleases chemists
9. Homeland security symposium covers what chemists can do to help protect the nation
10. Michigan, Connecticut and Illinois chemists receive award for drug to combat antibiotic resistance
11. Carnegie Mellon University chemists create versatile polymer brushes

Post Your Comments:

(Date:6/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Transparency Market ... Recognition Market by Application Market - Global Industry Analysis Size ... to the report, the  global gesture recognition market ... and is estimated to grow at a CAGR ... 2024.  Increasing application of gesture recognition ...
(Date:6/7/2016)... -- Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit Union (SACU) ... Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution into SACU,s ... in greater convenience for SACU members and operational ... document workflow and compliance requirements. Logo ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... 2016   The Weather Company , an IBM Business ... industry-first capability in which consumers will be able to interact ... questions via voice or text and receive relevant information about ... Marketers have long sought an advertising solution that can ... personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale across millions of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today ... trials of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The ... ascending dose studies designed to assess the safety, ... injection in healthy adult volunteers. Forty ... a single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 ... , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew ... escalating cost of cancer care is placing an ... result of expensive biologic therapies. With the patents ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ClinCapture, the only ... Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from June 26 to June ... scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud during the conference. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Velocity Products, a division ... tuned and optimized exclusively for Okuma CNC machining centers at The International Manufacturing ... collaboration among several companies with expertise in toolholding, cutting tools, machining dynamics and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: