Scientists in the United States and China are reporting development of a new type of fluorescent sensing material that could lead to innovative devices for rapid detection of explosives in security screening, criminal investigations, and other applications.
In the study, Southern Illinois University's Ling Zang and colleagues at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Chinese Academy of Sciences point out that fluorescent-based sensors signal the presence of explosives by losing their glow. Such existing devices, however, have serious limitations, which created the need for a new generation of sensor materials.
The new fluorescent film, made from nanofibrils, overcomes those disadvantages. In laboratory tests, it sensed the presence of vapors from TNT and a related explosives compound with greater effectiveness than existing materials. After sensing the compounds and losing its fluorescence, the material recovered its ability to fluoresce repeatedly during the tests. The experiments suggested that sensors made from the material would resist deterioration from exposure to sunlight, another drawback with existing sensor materials.
Their report is scheduled for the June 20 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a weekly publication.
Article: "Detection of Explosives with a Fluorescent Nanofibril Film"
Materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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