Mon. Oct 14th, 2019

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Wanted: A Bomb Detector as Sensitive as a Dog’s Nose

If a suicide bomber lurks in the public with an explosive device, bomb-sniffing dogs can often detect the explosive chemicals from the tiniest whiff—these canine superheroes can sense the presence of the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) if just a few molecules are present, on the scale of parts per trillion.

Researchers at the University of Rhode Island are striving to make a comparable device for detecting TATP in its vapor form. Their new detection system, which pairs a conductance sensor with a traditional thermodynamic sensor, confirms the presence of TATP at the level of parts per billion (ppb). Their work is described in a study published on 2 October in IEEE Sensors Letters.