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Nanodetectors Eyed for Remote Explosives Detection

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AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 25 -- The use of nanoscale sensors for chemical, biological, radiological and explosive agents (CBRE) could have a big impact on national security programs, according to Applied Nanotech Inc., a research organization that is developing applications for nanotechnology.

Applied Nanotech Inc.'s CEO, Zvi Yaniv, presented the company's concept for remote explosives detection at the Defense Research and Engineering Conference and Exposition, sponsored by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers International, held last week in Washington.

Yaniv said nanoscale sensors could provide "sensitive, selective and inexpensive sensors that can be deployed for advanced security for transportation, military, border crossing, civilian business and federal buildings."

"Airborne nanodetectors can be strategically placed to detect the presence of explosives. These nanodetectors -- such as selective quantum dots, nanoporous silicon particles, bioluminescent molecules, etc., which are harmless to the environment and living organisms -- change their optical characteristics in the presence of chemicals embedded in explosives. These changes can be easily detected from a large distance -- for example, using usual photomultipliers already utilized in many light detection applications."

Yaniv said the company is in the process of selecting a partner to help it create a working prototype of the devices. Applied Nanotech is a subsidiary of Nano-Proprietary Inc., based in Austin, which develops technology for the microelectronic and display industries, particularly carbon field emission products and related electronic display products using thin carbon film, diamond film and diamond-like carbon film.

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Nov 2003
American Society of Mechanical Engineers InternationalApplied NanotechchemicalsdefenseDefense Research and Engineering Conference and Expositionnanodetectorsnanoscale sensorsNews & FeaturesSensors & Detectors

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