Micrograph of NIST sensor device used to detect toxic gases. Colors reflect slight variations in thickness of the sensing film.
Prototype microsensor arrays connected to artificial neural networks—computer models that “learn”—can reliably identify trace amounts of toxic gases in seconds, well before concentration levels become lethal, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientists and a guest researcher reported Sept. 7 at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in New York City. The system has the potential to provide cost-effective early warning of chemical warfare agents.
Lab experiments show that the sensors, which use NIST-patented microheater technology, can detect compounds such as sulfur-mustard gas and nerve agents (tabun and sarin) at levels below 1 part per million. The neural networks, which currently run on a personal computer, were added recently to process signals from the sensor arrays. The networks enable the system to rapidly distinguish among the gases and predict their concentration in the ambient air.
The microheaters, which are coated with metal oxide films, can be programmed to cycle through a range of temperatures. Airborne chemicals attach to the film in characteristic ways depending on factors such as temperature and film material, causing changes in the flow of electricity through the microsensors. These changes serve as a “signature” for identifying both the type and concentration of the gas in the ambient air.
Laura Ost | NIST
Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano
20.10.2017 | Brown University
New software speeds origami structure designs
12.10.2017 | Georgia Institute of Technology
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research