Navigation Links
Researchers improve technology to detect hazardous chemicals
Date:11/20/2012

Scientists at Imperial College London have developed a system to quickly detect trace amounts of chemicals like pollutants, explosives or illegal drugs.

The new system can pick out a single target molecule from 10 000 trillion water molecules within milliseconds, by trapping it on a self-assembling single layer of gold nanoparticles.

The team of scientists, all from the Department of Chemistry at Imperial, say this technology opens the way to develop devices that are compact, reusable and easy to assemble, and could have a range of uses including detecting illegal drugs, explosives, pollutants in rivers or nerve gases released into the air. Results of the research are published this week in Nature Materials.

In one potential use, such a device could detect tiny traces of explosives or other illegal substances left behind by criminals on the surfaces they touch. The advances made by this team would help law enforcers to identify and deal with such activities involving illegal substances.

Research co-author, Michael Cecchini, said: "Our system could solve a key problem of reliable and portable chemical testing for use in the outside world. It is very sensitive and could well be used to look for very small amounts of a specific molecule even in busy, public areas."

The target molecules are identified by an effect called Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) of light. This technique, which has been around since the late 1970's, works because each molecule scatters light in a unique way. Previous research has shown that the signal can be amplified by catching molecules in a particular way on a layer of metal nanoparticles. However, these sheets are complex to manufacture.

The scientists overcame this problem by dealing with interfaces of two liquids that do not mix, such as water and oil, or water and air interface. By manipulating the electrical charge of the gold nanoparticles and the composition of the solution, they were able to create a situation where the particles line themselves up at the interface between the two non-mixable liquids, or between a liquid and the air.

"The trick to achieving this system's sensitivity to the target molecules was in finding the conditions at which nanoparticles would settle at the interface at close distances to each other without fusing together", commented another co-author Jack Paget.

If the nanoparticles are disturbed, they spontaneously arrange themselves back in the correct way make the device more robust than those made rigidly arranged particles. Research co-author, Vladimir Turek, said: "The system shows real promise for detectors for use in rough outdoor environmental and defence applications, since the liquids and nanoparticles can be easily replaced to regenerate the device."


'/>"/>
Contact: Simon Levey
s.levey@imperial.ac.uk
44-020-759-46702
Imperial College London
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. New England Biolabs Introduces Polbase, an Information Repository of Scientific Data for Polymerase Researchers
2. In new quantum-dot LED design, researchers turn troublesome molecules to their advantage
3. Multidisciplinary team of researchers develop world’s lightest material
4. Researchers shrink tumors and minimize side effects using tumor-homing peptide to deliver treatment
5. Innovative MetaMorph® NX Software Shatters Barriers Between Researchers and Image Analysis Goals with Exclusive Visual Workflow
6. UCLA researchers demonstrate fully printed carbon nanotube transistor circuits for displays
7. Penn and Brown researchers demonstrate earthquake friction effect at the nanoscale
8. Two Top Biological Imaging Centers Offer Powerful Free Online Tool to Researchers, Educators, and Public
9. Researchers develop one of the worlds smallest electronic circuits
10. MU researchers identify key plant immune response in fight against bacteria
11. Researchers realize high-power, narrowband terahertz source at room temperature
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Researchers improve technology to detect hazardous chemicals
(Date:9/19/2017)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... September 19, 2017 ... ... care during an biological outbreak is about to be eliminated, said Lyle Probst, ... makes ExcitePCR’s FireflyDX™ technologies different than other pathogen detection solutions, Probst ...
(Date:9/19/2017)... , ... September 19, 2017 , ... ... technologies for surgical applications, announced today that two new patents have been allowed ... Albert, MD, Co-Founder of Band-LOK, said, “We continue to explore additional clinically-relevant designs ...
(Date:9/17/2017)... ... September 17, 2017 , ... GeneOne Life Science, ... Food and Drug Safety (KMFDS) for an Investigational New Drug application for a ... Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV). The study in Korea represents the second clinical trial for ...
(Date:9/14/2017)... ... September 14, 2017 , ... Boston ... extensive experience with Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) and ‘big data’ to ... In 2014, US healthcare spending exceeded $3.0 trillion with nearly 1/3 spent on ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 No two people are believed ... New York University Tandon School of Engineering and ... that partial similarities between prints are common enough ... phones and other electronic devices can be more ... lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... , April 5, 2017  The Allen Institute for ... Cell Explorer: a one-of-a-kind portal and dynamic digital window ... imaging data, the first application of deep learning to ... stem cell lines and a growing suite of powerful ... for these and future publicly available resources created and ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , a ... the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has ... the linking of an iris image with a face ... represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that have ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):