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February 16th, 2007
The device relies on a scientific breakthrough. In 2005, M.I.T. used nanotechnology to develop a material that is uniquely sensitive to TNT. Nanotechnology is science at a scale of billionths of a meter, and it manipulates particles to create new structures with unique properties.
"There hasn't been anything like it before," said Kevin Linker, an explosives specialist at Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. "It's a unique system."
The Fido team, led by Timothy Swager and Vladimir Bulovic, is based at the Institute for Soldier Nanotechnology, which is part of M.I.T.. The institute was founded in 2002 after receiving a $50 million contract from the Army. Its goal is to enhance "soldier survivability" through nanotechnology.
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