Multiplexed Mid-Infrared Imaging of Trace Explosives

Download Project Report (Phase 2, Year 4)

Project Description

Explosive residues leave distinct infrared “signatures” that can be detected by illuminating the residues with infrared light. While many scientists have studied these signatures, no technology is readily available that will allow for imaging and detection of the residues in real-world systems.

Project R2-C2 aims to develop technology to enable low-cost and sensitive imaging of explosive residue signatures. This is done by developing semiconductor fabrication techniques to enable commercial infrared laser arrays to be used as illumination sources. We are also developing new imaging techniques and evaluating new detector systems that enable low-cost, high-sensitivity infrared imaging of explosive residue fingerprints. These platforms are designed to be compatible with ongoing work characterizing infrared explosive residue signatures.

Applications for these technologies include the incorporation of both the laser module and imaging systems into a variety of screening locations. Portable (deployed with security personnel) and fixed (e.g., integrated with document scanners, cargo/luggage processing) devices are being developed to both quickly identify potential threats and to aid in the detailed diagnosis of potential threats.



This project develops technology that will make it cheaper to produce laser systems that can identify multiple explosives at the same time, as well as a complementary imaging platform.
Year 4 Annual Report
Project Leader
  • Scott Howard
    Assistant Professor
    University of Notre Dame

Students Currently Involved in Project
  • Tahsin Ahmed
    University of Notre Dame
  • David Benirschke
    University of Notre Dame
  • Zechariah Pfaffenberger
    Indiana Wesleyan University
  • Esther Harkness
    Brigham Young University