Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Out-sniffing bomb-sniffing dogs

Date:
November 11, 2010
Source:
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Researchers have developed a small, portable sensor based on recent advances in nanotechnology that's more sensitive and reliable at detecting explosives than any sniffer dog. In the future it may also be used to detect toxins and other biological threats, such as anthrax, cholera or botulinum, the team reports.

A Tel Aviv University scientist leads a research team that has developed a powerful electronic sensor to detect multiple kinds of explosives -- including those used in the recent Yemeni bomb threat. Based on nanotechnology advances, the new sensor is small, portable, and is more sensitive and reliable at detecting explosives than any sniffer dog, says its lead researcher.
Credit: Image courtesy of American Friends of Tel Aviv University

Dogs have long been called man's best bomb detector -- until now.

A Tel Aviv University scientist leads a research team that has developed a powerful electronic sensor to detect multiple kinds of explosives -- including those used in the recent Yemeni bomb threat. Based on nanotechnology advances, the new sensor is small, portable, and is more sensitive and reliable at detecting explosives than any sniffer dog, says its lead researcher Prof. Fernando Patolsky of Tel Aviv University's Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Chemistry.

With scientific findings on it published recently in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the new device is attracting considerable attention from security companies and fellow scientists.

Capable of detecting numerous types of explosives, Prof. Patolsky says the sensor is especially effective at detecting TNT. Existing methods and devices used to trace the explosive have the drawbacks of high cost, lengthy decoding times, size, and a need for expert analyses: "There is a need for a small, inexpensive, handheld instrument capable of detecting explosives quickly, reliably and efficiently," says Patolsky.

According to the researchers, this new sensor can out-sniff even a champion sniffer canine.

Portable and hidden from view

The device is made from an array of silicon nanowires, coated with a compound that binds to explosives to form an electronic device -- a nanotransistor. In order to enhance the chips' sensitivity even further, the scientists developed each one with 200 individual sensors that work in harmony to detect different kinds of explosives with an unprecedented degree of reliability, efficiency and speed.

One major advantage of the new sensor is its portability -- it can be carried from place to place by hand. It is also capable of detecting explosives at a distance. It can be mounted on a wall, with no need to bring it into contact with the item being checked. And unlike other explosives sensors, it enables definitive identification of the explosive that it has detected. To date. the device has not had a single detection error.

Security companies are taking note. The American company Nanergy Inc. has developed a prototype based on the patent, and is already in contact with potential partners to develop explosives sensors for the commercial market.

Headed by Prof. Patolsky, who recently returned to Israel from Harvard University, the research team is considered to be one of the world's leaders in developing nano-based sensors that can detect chemical and biological molecules.

Such sensors may be used to detect not only explosives, but also biological toxins and threats, such as anthrax, cholera or botulinum. Looking beyond national security, the sensor offers attractive applications in the medical field as well.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Friends of Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Out-sniffing bomb-sniffing dogs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 November 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110113201.htm>.
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. (2010, November 11). Out-sniffing bomb-sniffing dogs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110113201.htm
American Friends of Tel Aviv University. "Out-sniffing bomb-sniffing dogs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101110113201.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins