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
New technology for ultra-smooth polymer films
28.06.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Organische Elektronik, Elektronenstrahl- und Plasmatechnik FEP
Diamond watch components
18.06.2018 | Schweizerischer Nationalfonds SNF
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
13.07.2018 | Event News
13.07.2018 | Materials Sciences
13.07.2018 | Life Sciences