Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors
Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Printed Protection: Low-cost Paper-based Wireless Sensor Could Help Detect Explosive Devices

Sensor3 -- Pictured here are three wireless devices that use carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to achieve high sensitivity to ammonia. At left is a patch antenna, inkjet-printed on photographic paper, with the CNTs shown in black. At top center is an omni-directional segmented loop antenna on a soft substrate, designed for potential 5.8 GHz RFID integration. At bottom right is an inter-digitated capacitor on silicon substrate with CNT loading across the electrodes, being tested for its DC resistance. (Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek)
Sensor3 -- Pictured here are three wireless devices that use carbon nanotubes (CNTs) to achieve high sensitivity to ammonia. At left is a patch antenna, inkjet-printed on photographic paper, with the CNTs shown in black. At top center is an omni-directional segmented loop antenna on a soft substrate, designed for potential 5.8 GHz RFID integration. At bottom right is an inter-digitated capacitor on silicon substrate with CNT loading across the electrodes, being tested for its DC resistance.

(Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek)

Abstract:
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a prototype wireless sensor capable of detecting trace amounts of a key ingredient found in many explosives.

Printed Protection: Low-cost Paper-based Wireless Sensor Could Help Detect Explosive Devices

Atlanta, GA | Posted on October 26th, 2011

The device, which employs carbon nanotubes and is printed on paper or paper-like material using standard inkjet technology, could be deployed in large numbers to alert authorities to the presence of explosives, such as improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

"This prototype represents a significant step toward producing an integrated wireless system for explosives detection," said Krishna Naishadham, a principal research scientist who is leading the work at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). "It incorporates a sensor and a communications device in a small, low-cost package that could operate almost anywhere."

Other types of hazardous gas sensors are based on expensive semiconductor fabrication and gas chromatography, Naishadham said, and they consume more power, require human intervention, and typically do not operate at ambient temperatures. Furthermore, those sensors have not been integrated with communication devices such as antennas.

The wireless component for communicating the sensor information -- a resonant lightweight antenna - was printed on photographic paper using inkjet techniques devised by Professor Manos Tentzeris of Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and computer engineering. Tentzeris is collaborating with Naishadham on development of the sensing device.

The sensing component, based on functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs), has been fabricated and tested for detection sensitivity by Xiaojuan (Judy) Song, a GTRI research scientist. The device relies on carbon-nanotube materials optimized by Song.

A presentation on this sensing technology was given in July at the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium (IEEE APS) in Spokane, Wash., by Hoseon Lee, a Ph.D. student in ECE co-advised by Tentzeris and Naishadham. The paper received the Honorable Mention Award in the Best Student Paper competition at the symposium.

This is not the first inkjet-printed ammonia sensor that has been integrated with an antenna on paper, said Tentzeris. His group produced a similar integrated sensor last year in collaboration with the research group of C.P. Wong, who is Regents professor and Smithgall Institute Endowed Chair in the School of Materials Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech.

"The fundamental difference is that this newest CNT sensor possesses dramatically improved sensitivity to miniscule ammonia concentrations," Tentzeris said. "That should enable the first practical applications to detect trace amounts of hazardous gases in challenging operational environments using inkjet-printed devices."

Tentzeris explained that the key to printing components, circuits and antennas lies in novel "inks" that contain silver nanoparticles in an emulsion that can be deposited by the printer at low temperatures - around 100 degrees Celsius. A process called sonication helps to achieve optimal ink viscosity and homogeneity, enabling uniform material deposition and permitting maximum operating effectiveness for paper-based components.

"Ink-jet printing is low-cost and convenient compared to other technologies such as wet etching," Tentzeris said. "Using the proper inks, a printer can be used almost anywhere to produce custom circuits and components, replacing traditional clean-room approaches."

Low-cost materials - such as heavy photographic paper or plastics like polyethylene terephthalate -- can be made water resistant to ensure greater reliability, he added. Inkjet component printing can also use flexible organic materials, such as liquid crystal polymer (LCP), which are known for their robustness and weather resistance. The resulting components are similar in size to conventional components but can conform and adhere to almost any surface.

Naishadham explained that the same inkjet techniques used to produce RF components, circuits and antennas can also be used to deposit the functionalized carbon nanotubes used for sensing. These nanoscale cylindrical structures -- about one-billionth of a meter in diameter, or 1/50,000th the width of a human hair -- are functionalized by coating them with a conductive polymer that attracts ammonia, a major ingredient found in many IEDs.

Sonication of the functionalized carbon nanotubes produces a uniform water-based ink that can be printed side-by-side with RF components and antennas to produce a compact wireless sensor node.

"The optimized carbon nanotubes are applied as a sensing film, with specific functionalization designed for a particular gas or analyte," Song said. "The GTRI sensor detects trace amounts of ammonia usually found near explosive devices, and it can also be designed to detect similar gases in household, healthcare and industrial environments at very low concentration levels."

The sensor has been designed to detect ammonia in trace amounts - as low as five parts per million, Naishadham said.

The resulting integrated sensing package can potentially detect the presence of trace explosive materials at a distance, without endangering human lives. This approach, called standoff detection, involves the use of RF technology to identify explosive materials at a relatively safe distance. The GTRI team has designed the device to send an alert to nearby personnel when it detects ammonia.

The wireless sensor nodes require relatively low power, which could come from a number of technologies including thin-film batteries, solar cells or power-scavenging and energy-harvesting techniques. In collaboration with Tentzeris's and Wong's groups, GTRI is investigating ways to make the sensor operate passively, without any power consumption.

"We are focusing on providing standoff detection for those engaged in military or humanitarian missions and other hazardous situations," Naishadham said. "We believe that it will be possible, and cost-effective, to deploy large numbers of these detectors on vehicles or robots throughout a military engagement zone."

Writer: Rick Robinson

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Research News & Publications Office
Georgia Institute of Technology
75 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 314
Atlanta, Georgia 30308 USA

Kirk Englehardt
404-407-7280


John Toon
404-894-6986

Copyright © Georgia Institute of Technology

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

An EPiQS Pursuit: Physicist Andrea Young is chosen to receive an Experimental Investigator award from the Moore Foundation May 28th, 2020

Study finds electrical fields can throw a curveball: Particle-scale phenomenon akin to the swerving of a curveball could allow selective separation of suspended nanomaterials May 26th, 2020

Surrey reveals its implantable biosensor that operates without batteries May 22nd, 2020

Researchers demonstrate transport of mechanical energy, even through damaged pathways: Topological pump can provide stability for communication technologies May 22nd, 2020

Thin films

New boron material of high hardness created by plasma chemical vapor deposition: The goal is material that approaches a diamond in hardness and can survive extreme pressure, temperature and corrosive environments April 17th, 2020

Self-powered X-ray detector to revolutionize imaging for medicine, security and research: 2D perovskite thin films boost sensitivity 100-fold compared to conventional detectors, require no outside power source, and enable low-dose dental and medical images April 12th, 2020

Groovy key to nanotubes in 2D: Why do carbon nanotubes line up? They're in a groove March 16th, 2020

Water-free way to make MXenes could mean new uses for the promising nanomaterials: Discovery by Drexel researchers could open new application for MXene materials March 13th, 2020

Nanotubes/Buckyballs/Fullerenes/Nanorods

Oil & gas and automotive sectors will benefit from durable polymers with graphene nanotubes May 14th, 2020

OCSiAl becomes the largest European supplier of single wall carbon nanotubes with its upgraded REACH registration April 23rd, 2020

Double-walled nanotubes have electro-optical advantages :Rice University calculations show they could be highly useful for solar panels March 27th, 2020

Groovy key to nanotubes in 2D: Why do carbon nanotubes line up? They're in a groove March 16th, 2020

Sensors

Surrey reveals its implantable biosensor that operates without batteries May 22nd, 2020

Making quantum 'waves' in ultrathin materials: Study co-led by Berkeley Lab reveals how wavelike plasmons could power up a new class of sensing and photochemical technologies at the nanoscale May 15th, 2020

Twisting 2D materials uncovers their superpowers: Researchers have developed a completely new method for twisting atomically thin materials, paving the way for applications of 'twistronics' based on tunable 2D materials May 12th, 2020

MOF material offers optical sensing of NO2 pollutant for air quality measurements April 30th, 2020

Discoveries

Study finds electrical fields can throw a curveball: Particle-scale phenomenon akin to the swerving of a curveball could allow selective separation of suspended nanomaterials May 26th, 2020

MSU scientists solve half-century-old magnesium dimer mystery May 22nd, 2020

Researchers review advances in 3D printing of high-entropy alloys: SUTD collaborates with universities in Singapore and China to shine light on HEA manufacturing processes and inspire further research in this emerging field May 22nd, 2020

A stitch in time: How a quantum physicist invented new code from old tricks: Error suppression opens pathway to universal quantum computing May 22nd, 2020

Announcements

An EPiQS Pursuit: Physicist Andrea Young is chosen to receive an Experimental Investigator award from the Moore Foundation May 28th, 2020

Study finds electrical fields can throw a curveball: Particle-scale phenomenon akin to the swerving of a curveball could allow selective separation of suspended nanomaterials May 26th, 2020

Visualization of functional components to characterize optimal composite electrodes May 22nd, 2020

Researchers demonstrate transport of mechanical energy, even through damaged pathways: Topological pump can provide stability for communication technologies May 22nd, 2020

Homeland Security

RIT researchers build micro-device to detect bacteria, viruses: New process improves lab-on-chip devices to isolate drug-resistant strains of bacterial infection, viruses April 17th, 2020

Nanomaterial fabric destroys nerve agents in battlefield-relevant conditions: Metal-organic framework-based composites don’t need liquid water to work January 14th, 2020

A bullet-proof heating pad November 2nd, 2018

Northwestern researchers achieve unprecedented control of polymer grids: Materials could find applications in water purification, solar energy storage, body armor June 22nd, 2018

Military

2D oxide flakes pick up surprise electrical properties: Rice University lab detects piezoelectric effects in nanosheets due to defects May 7th, 2020

FSU researchers discover new structure for promising class of materials April 24th, 2020

Researchers achieve remote control of hormone release April 17th, 2020

RIT researchers build micro-device to detect bacteria, viruses: New process improves lab-on-chip devices to isolate drug-resistant strains of bacterial infection, viruses April 17th, 2020

Battery Technology/Capacitors/Generators/Piezoelectrics/Thermoelectrics/Energy storage

Visualization of functional components to characterize optimal composite electrodes May 22nd, 2020

Nexeon Appoints New Chairman May 18th, 2020

2D oxide flakes pick up surprise electrical properties: Rice University lab detects piezoelectric effects in nanosheets due to defects May 7th, 2020

A new study published on the cover of Science could bolster the development of batteries, fuel cells, 3D printing technologies and more May 1st, 2020

Solar/Photovoltaic

Twisting 2D materials uncovers their superpowers: Researchers have developed a completely new method for twisting atomically thin materials, paving the way for applications of 'twistronics' based on tunable 2D materials May 12th, 2020

Transporting energy through a single molecular nanowire: Why single wires are superior to bundles May 8th, 2020

Scientists have created new nanocomposite from gold and titanium oxide: Scientists use lasers and gold particles to turn titanium oxide into nanocomposite for photocatalysts May 8th, 2020

Water-splitting module a source of perpetual energy: ‘Artificial leaf’ concept inspires Rice University research into solar-powered fuel production May 4th, 2020

Printing/Lithography/Inkjet/Inks/Bio-printing/Dyes

Large scale integrated circuits produced in printing press: All-printed large-scale integrated circuits based on organic electrochemical transistors November 15th, 2019

Highest-throughput 3D printer is future of manufacturing: Rapid manufacturing on-demand could put warehouses, molds into the past October 17th, 2019

Physicists make graphene discovery that could help develop superconductors: Rutgers-led research could reduce energy use, improve electronic devices August 1st, 2019

New record: 3D-printed optical-electronic integration June 18th, 2019

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project