A spectroscopy technique that offers advances in detection of toxic chemicals and counting of molecules has been demonstrated by a National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) scientist and collaborators. Described in the Feb. 8 issue of the Journal of Chemical Physics, the NIST-patented technique may be useful for development of miniaturized chemical sensors, as well as for fundamental surface science studies.
The technique (a variation on cavity ring-down spectroscopy) relies on laser light reflecting and circulating inside a prism-like optical resonator. The time it takes the light to diminish (or ring down) changes depending on whether specific chemicals are present near the resonator and on how much light they absorb. This information can be used to identify and quantify specific molecules.
The technique can detect small amounts (100 parts per million) of trichloroethylene, a toxic commercial solvent that is prevalent but difficult to locate in the environment. The sensitivity is equivalent to the best of other published optical methods that could be used outside a laboratory. A highly selective coating is expected to enhance performance further.
Laura Ost | EurekAlert!
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The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
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Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
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