Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Detecting Chemical Threats With "Intelligent" Networks

11.09.2003


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.



The neural networks were trained to detect subtle variations in these signatures. An array of four microheater sensors programmed to quickly sample 20 temperatures produces as much data as 80 different sensors.

Research is ongoing to more fully assess the impact of background interference as a means of avoiding false positives, and to enhance the robustness of the sensors with repeated use. The research is funded by NIST and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Media Contact:
Laura Ost, (301) 975-4034

Laura Ost | NIST
Further information:
http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/techbeat/tb2003_0910.htm

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Stable magnetic bit of three atoms
21.09.2017 | Sonderforschungsbereich 668

nachricht Drones can almost see in the dark
20.09.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>