New optical device can detect drugs, explosives
Scientists have developed a new light-based sensor that can help detect drugs in the blood, remnants of explosives in the environment and follow the disease.
Scientists used an approach known as the name of spectroscopy, which involves the study of how light interacts with traces of material.
“This new optical device has the potential to improve our ability to detect all kinds of biological and chemical samples,” said Qiaoqiang Gan, associate professor at the University of Buffalo in the United States.
The new sensor works with light in the mid-infrared band of the electromagnetic spectrum.
This spectrum is used for most remote controls, night vision and other applications.
The sensor consists of two layers of metal with an interposed insulating intermediate.
Using a manufacturing technique called atomic layer deposition, the researchers created a device with lower zones at five nanometers (human hair is approximately 75,000 nanometers in diameter) between two metal layers.
These gaps allow the sensor to absorb up to 81% of infrared light, a significant improvement over the three percent absorbed similar devices, researchers reported.
The process is known as the name of the improved infrared absorption spectroscopy (SEIRA) surface.
The sensor, which acts as a substrate for the materials examined, increases the sensitivity of Seira devices to detect molecules at a resolution 100 to 1000 times higher than previously reported results, researchers reported.
The increase makes SEIRA spectroscopy similar to another type of spectroscopic analysis, Rama spectroscopy improved surface (SERS), which measures the scattering of light rather than absorption.
“SEIRA progress could be useful in any scenario that calls for finding traces of molecules,” said Dengxin Ji, a PhD student at Gan Laboratory.
“This includes but is not limited to the detection of drugs in the blood, materials to make bombs, art and fraudulent disease surveillance,” said Ji.