New fluorescent sensing material created

May 29, 2007

U.S. and Chinese scientists have created a type of fluorescent sensing material that could lead to rapid detection of explosives in security screening.

In the study, Southern Illinois University's Ling Zang and colleagues at the University of Illinois and the Chinese Academy of Sciences note fluorescent-based sensors signal the presence of explosives by losing their glow. Such devices, however, have serious limitations, which created the need for a new generation of sensor materials.

The researchers said their newly developed 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 scientists said their experiments also suggest sensors made from the material would resist deterioration from exposure to sunlight, another drawback with existing sensor materials.

The research is to be published in the June 20 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Ultra-sensitive polymer detects explosive devices

Related Stories

Ultra-sensitive polymer detects explosive devices

June 5, 2013

( —A chemical that's often the key ingredient in improvised explosive devices (IEDs) can be quickly and safely detected in trace amounts by a new polymer created by a team of Cornell chemists.

Glowing films reveal traces of explosives

May 23, 2008

New spray-on films developed by UC San Diego chemists will be the basis of portable devices that can quickly reveal trace amounts of nitrogen-based explosives.

Scientists improve explosives detection

April 21, 2005

MIT researchers have announced a scientific breakthrough that could greatly improve explosives detection for military and civilian security applications. Scientists have developed a new polymer that greatly increases the ...

In Brief: Nuclear explosion debris may reveal bomb's origin

November 9, 2010

Nuclear explosion debris may contain microscopic evidence that could help investigators determine the origin of the bomb, according to a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Recommended for you

CERN collides heavy nuclei at new record high energy

November 25, 2015

The world's most powerful accelerator, the 27 km long Large Hadron Collider (LHC) operating at CERN in Geneva established collisions between lead nuclei, this morning, at the highest energies ever. The LHC has been colliding ...

'Material universe' yields surprising new particle

November 25, 2015

An international team of researchers has predicted the existence of a new type of particle called the type-II Weyl fermion in metallic materials. When subjected to a magnetic field, the materials containing the particle act ...

Exploring the physics of a chocolate fountain

November 24, 2015

A mathematics student has worked out the secrets of how chocolate behaves in a chocolate fountain, answering the age-old question of why the falling 'curtain' of chocolate surprisingly pulls inwards rather than going straight ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.