Full Content is available to subscribers

Subscribe/Learn More  >

Nano Fracture Chemical Sensor for Explosives Detection

[+] Author Affiliations
Se Young Yang, Christy Petruczok, Hyungryul Johnny Choi, Ayse Asatekin, Karen K. Gleason

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA

George Barbastathis

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA; Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research & Technology Centre (SMART), Singapore

Paper No. IMECE2010-37802, pp. 531-535; 5 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 10: Micro and Nano Systems
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4447-2
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Selective detection of explosive compounds is critical for national defense and homeland security. In this paper we describe the fabrication and demonstration of a chemical sensor capable of detecting nitroaromatic explosives in air. The device has the unique features of nano-scale dimensions, simple and inexpensive fabrication, and low power consumption. It consists of a nano-patterned conductive metal line placed on top of a patterned responsive polymer, poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP). Due to polymer-solvent interactions, P4VP swells when it encounters the target analyte, producing a large stress. Detection takes place by monitoring the change in device resistance as the metal nano line deforms or fractures when P4VP swells and transfers mechanical stress. The sensors would be ideal for discreet, wide-scale deployment over large areas. It is also important to note that device sensitivity can be readily enhanced by scaling down the feature size of the metal line or adjusting the material properties of both the metal and polymer. The fabrication process is readily transferrable to a variety of organic and metal materials, improving the versatility of the sensors. The resulting devices may provide new ways to detect security threats and complement existing complex methods to increase the probability of detection and to reduce false alarms. The same approach may also be applicable outside the military/security domain, for example, for pollution monitoring, for factory safety and operational monitoring, or for food quality inspection; all these applications are contingent upon finding the appropriate polymers for the respective analytes.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME



Interactive Graphics


Country-Specific Mortality and Growth Failure in Infancy and Yound Children and Association With Material Stature

Use interactive graphics and maps to view and sort country-specific infant and early dhildhood mortality and growth failure data and their association with maternal

Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In