A New Optical Device Developed by Scientists to Detect Explosives, Drugs – ZMR Blog
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A New Optical Device Developed by Scientists to Detect Explosives, Drugs

A New Optical Device Developed by Scientists to Detect Explosives, Drugs

A research team from the University of Buffalo has designed a new light-based sensor that can assist to identify traces of explosives in the surroundings,drugs in blood, as well as track diseases. An approach called as spectroscopy was used by scientists, which comprises reviewing how light interrelates with trace quantities of matter.

Infrared absorption spectroscopy is one of the more effective types of spectroscopy, which has been in existence for numerous decades now and has undergone enhancements over time. It is generally used in anti-doping checks where experts checkout whether the blood sample of the athlete has performance-enhancing drugs. Also, it can be used to identify the existence of minute explosives particles in the air.

While infrared absorption spectroscopy has enhanced significantly in the past 100 years, scientists are still functioning to make the technology more inexpensive, versatile, and sensitive. And with the wake of this, the researchers have developed a new light-trapping sensor that makes improvement in all 3 areas.University of Buffalo’s Associate Professor, Qiaoqiang Gan, said, “This new optical tool has the prospective to advance our abilities to identify all kinds of chemical and biological samples.”

The new sensor operates with light in the electromagnetic spectrum’s mid-infrared band. This fragment of the spectrum is utilized for most night-vision, remote controls, and other applications.The sensor comprises of 2 metal layers with an insulator squashed in between. The researchers, with the use of a fabrication technique known as atomic layer deposition, produced a tool with gaps between 2 layers of metal less than 5 nm (a human hair is approximately 75,000 nm in diameter).

These gaps allow the sensor to captivate up to 81% of infrared light, a substantial enhancement from the 3%absorbed by analogous devices, according to the researchers. The method is called as surface-enhanced infrared absorption (SEIRA) spectroscopy. The team said that the new sensor—which functions as a substrate for the constituents being tested—improves the sensitivity of the SEIRA devices to identify particles at 100–1000 times more resolution than formerly reported results.

The surge makes SEIRA spectroscopy equivalent to another kind of spectroscopic study, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, which evaluates light scattering as contrasting to absorption. Dengxin Jisaid, “The SEIRA improvement can be beneficial in any setting that calls for detecting traces of particles.This comprises, but is not restricted to, drug recognition in blood, fraudulent art, bomb-making materials, and tracking diseases.”

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