Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Detecting Trace Amounts of Explosives With Light

Published: Saturday, May 10, 2014
Last Updated: Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Bookmark and Share
The sensor that can detect tiny quantities of explosives with the use of light and special glass fibres.

Published in the journal Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, the University of Adelaide researchers describe a novel optical fibre sensor which can detect explosives in concentrations as low as 6.3 ppm (parts per million). It requires an analysis time of only a few minutes.

"Traditionally explosives detection has involved looking for metals that encase them such as in land mines," says project leader Dr Georgios Tsiminis, from the University's Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.

"In today's world, however, homemade improvised explosive devices will often have no metal in them so we need to be able to detect the explosive material itself. This can be difficult as they often don't interact with chemicals and we don't want them near electricity in case they explode."

Instead, the researchers are using a plastic material which emits red light when illuminated with green laser light - and the amount of red light it emits is reduced by the presence of explosives.

Three minute holes at the core of specially manufactured optical fibres are coated with the plastic or polymer material in a thin layer. The explosives sample is drawn up the holes in the fibre by capillary action and the amount of red light emitted measured.

"This has high sensitivity and we can detect tiny quantities of an explosive in a small sample," says Dr Tsiminis, who is an Australian Research Council Super Science Fellow. "And not only do we know if explosives are there, we can quantify the amount of explosive by looking at how the light emission changes over time."

Dr Tsiminis says the sensor is ideal for forensics investigations to determine whether explosives have been present in a particular location. It's inexpensive, quick and easy to use and could be done on site to detect trace amounts of explosive.

"What I like about this technology is that it has a lot of complicated physics underlying it, but it is really a very simple concept," Dr Tsiminis says.

"It also requires very little explosives present so is very sensitive. So forensic investigators would be able to take swabs from various surfaces, place them in some organic solvent and, within a few minutes, know if there have been explosives present."

The research was done in collaboration with the Defence Science and Technology Organisation.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,300+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,900+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Small Molecules to Help Make SMARTER Cereals
University of Adelaide researchers are rethinking plant breeding strategies to improve the development of new high-yielding, stress-tolerant cereal varieties.
Wednesday, August 10, 2016
Genomics Study Points to Origins of Pollen Allergens
A joint University of Adelaide-Shanghai Jiao Tong University study has provided the first broad picture of the evolution and possible functions in the plant of pollen allergens.
Monday, August 08, 2016
Alzheimer's Genetics Point To New Research Direction
A University of Adelaide analysis of genetic mutations which cause early-onset Alzheimer’s disease suggests a new focus for research into the causes of the disease.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Sugar-Coated Bacteria Cause Human Disease
Sugar-coating is not necessarily sweet when it comes to infectious disease-causing bacteria, scientists have shown.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Promising New Treatment Joins the War on Superbugs
The fight against superbugs has been bolstered thanks to a promising new therapy discovered by University of Adelaide researchers.
Monday, December 07, 2015
Role Of Cancer-Suppressing Gene Uncovered
The findings open new opportunities for scientists to find treatments for cancer. The findings shed light on the activity of the gene WWOX.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Finding a Treatment for Parkinson's Disease Dementia
University of Adelaide neuroscientists are leading a world-first study into a form of dementia experienced by many Parkinson’s disease suffers, which is expected to ultimately lead to a new therapy for the condition.
Tuesday, September 08, 2015
Grape Waste Could Make Competitive Biofuel
The solid waste left over from wine-making could make a competitive biofuel, University of Adelaide researchers have found.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Hot Chili May Unlock New Obesity Treatment
University of Adelaide researchers have discovered a high-fat diet may impair important receptors located in the stomach that signal fullness.
Thursday, August 20, 2015
Better DNA Analysis for Catching Criminals
A simple, lower-cost new method for DNA profiling of human hairs developed by the University of Adelaide should improve opportunities to link criminals to serious crimes.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
Optical 'Dog's Nose' Developed to Detect Cancer, Other Diseases
Researchers are using optical spectroscopy to develop a quick, non-invasive “breath test” they believe will have the potential to screen for a variety of diseases, including diabetes, infections and cancers.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Cerebral Palsy - It Can Be In Your Genes
An international research group led by a team at the University of Adelaide has made what they believe could be the biggest discovery into cerebral palsy in 20 years.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Bacterial Toxin Targets Discovered
Understanding how bacterial toxins target human cells is set to have major implications for the development of novel drugs.
Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Boron Tolerance Discovery for Higher Wheat Yields
Adelaide scientists have identified the genes in wheat that control tolerance to a significant yield-limiting soil condition found around the globe - boron toxicity.
Friday, July 04, 2014
Stem Cells From Teeth Can Make Brain-Like Cells
Stem cells taken from teeth can grow to resemble brain cells, a finding that could be used in the brain as a therapy for stroke.
Thursday, May 01, 2014
Scientific News
Shedding Light on HIV Vaccine Design
Broadly speaking - Mathematical modelling of host-pathogen coevolution sheds light on HIV vaccine design.
AACC 2016 Sees Clinical Chemistry Labs Drive Precision Medicine Offerings
Biomarker assays to enable precision medicine and risk assessment, mass spec-based tests designed for use in clinical labs large and small, and liquid biopsy technology captured the spotlight at the AACC annual meeting.
Automated Patch Clamping Trends
Learn more about current practices, preferences and metrics in ion channel drug screening using APC technology.
Lab-on-a-Stick: Miniaturised Clinical Testing For Fast Detection Of Antibiotic Resistance
A portable power-free test for the rapid detection of bacterial resistance to antibiotics has been developed by academics at Loughborough University and the University of Reading.
Genetic Ancestry of Cultivated Strawberry Unravelled
UNH scientists constructed a linkage map of the seven chromosomes of the diploid Fragaria iinumae, which allows them to fill in a piece of the genetic puzzle about the eight sets of chromosomes of the cultivated strawberry.
Progress In Vaccination Against Vespid Venom
Researchers at the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University Munich have presented a method which facilitates a personalised procedure for wasp allergy sufferers.
New Drug Target for Inflammatory Disorders
Penn study finds enigmatic molecules maintain equilibrium between fighting infection and inflammatory havoc.
Breast Cancer Cells Found To Switch Molecular Characteristics
Spontaneous interconversion between HER2-positive and HER2-negative states could contribute to progression, treatment resistance in breast cancer.
Mechanisms of Calcium Blockers
Researchers describe how the fundamental mode of action of two distinct chemical classes of calcium channel blockers differs.
Some Breast Cancer Patients With Low Genetic Risk Could Skip Chemotherapy
Genetic test can help predict survival and guide treatment options.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,300+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,900+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!