Thin Film Fluorescent Sensors for Explosives Detection
R2-C.1

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Project Description

Overview and Significance

Detection of trace quantities of explosives in the gas phase is a pressing societal issue, of special importance to homeland security and a significant challenge to analytical chemistry. The low vapor pressure of most explosives, in the parts per billion (ppb) to parts per trillion (ppt) ranges at room temperature, pushes the limits for most methods. Modern fluorescent techniques are capable of detection in this range and this has been adapted in a variety of ways for explosives detection for many years. Improved methods for trace explosives detection is desirable, and studies to improve the sensitivity by enhancing the fluorescent signal or to improve selectivity by using arrays of fluorophores have been reported, but all of these approaches require expensive or generally unavailable materials. Thus, our objective is to design sensors that can detect explosives in the gas phase at natural vapor pressures while using readily available components.

Details of the transducing mechanism will allow for optimization of the sensor. Evaluation of the structural and chemical parameters for each fluorophore/polymer combination will provide a predictive tool for determining the sensitivity and selectivity of the sensor array.
Phase 2 Year 2 Annual Report
Project Leader
  • William B. Euler
    Professor & Chair, Chemistry
    URI
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Faculty and Staff Currently Involved in Project
  • Richard Sweetman
    High School Teacher
    Middletown High School
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Students Currently Involved in Project
  • Mona Alhasani
    URI
  • Mingyu Liu
    URI
  • Matthew Mullen
    URI
  • Elsa Ortega
    URI
  • Hui Qi Zhang
    URI
  • Elizabeth Kohr
    URI
  • Yoomin Chung
    URI