A unique device has been designed by the Moscow scientists – specialists of the Institute of General Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, supported by funding from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research. The device not only helps to discover in a few seconds the minute quantities of narcotics and explosives in the air, but to identify and even count every single molecule of these dangerous substances. For the first time has the man managed to approach the creation of device more sensitive than the dog’s nose, besides, it is impossible to either divert or frighten or distract the device from trace.
As a matter of fact, all known methods – and there are several of them – either need preliminary division of air samples (that decreases significantly the sensitivity, and increases the duration of analysis and complicates the detection process) or determine the structure of a substance by its fragments. If the structure of a compound is complicated, and if this is not the sole substance in the sample (this is a common case), then instrumental inspection methods fail the fulfil the task. The task is beyond their “sense of smell”. That is why specially trained dogs have to be involved as their sense of smell is several times more sensitive than that of a man (which is natural), and even of that of the most complicated devices. However, here occur other problems: for instance, a handful of pepper completely deprives a four-legged “smeller” of an opportunity to spot the required scent. Besides, the dog, like human beings, may be in low spirits, or may have blocked nose, the dog can be diverted or distracted from trace – the criminal world has invented a lot of means. Therefore, the device is needed – an unbiassed, reliable and at the same time highly sensitive and selective one. The Moscow researchers have managed to develop such a device.
The device is based on a completely new principle developed by the Institute of General Physics (Russian Academy of Sciences) jointly with the University of Montana, USA. The essence of the principle is as follows: molecules of the sought substances first “settle” – they are sorbed on a specially processed silicic surface and interact with it. Then the laser beam, figuratively speaking, knocks the molecules off the surface but in a slightly different form. They have become positive ions, which differ from the original molecules by one thing only – a hydrogen ion (proton) is either added to or removed from them.
Sergey Komarov | alfa
Quick, Precise, but not Cold
17.05.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Lasertechnik ILT
A laser for divers
03.05.2017 | Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
12.07.2017 | Event News
24.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.07.2017 | Materials Sciences