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In the framework of the research project 'Xsense' at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) we are developing a simple colorimetric sensor array which can be useful in detection of explosives like DNT and TNT, and identification of volatile organic compounds in the presence of water vapor in air. The technology is based on an array of chemo-responsive dyes immobilized on a solid support. Upon exposure to the analyte in suspicion the dye array changes color. Each chosen dye reacts chemo selectively with analytes of interest. A change in a color signature indicates the presence of unknown explosives and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). We are working towards the selection of dyes that undergo color changes in the presence of explosives and VOCs, as well as the development of an immobilization method for the molecules. Digital imaging of the dye array before and after exposure to the analytes creates a color difference map which gives a unique fingerprint for each explosive and volatile organic compound. Such sensing technology can be used to screen for relevant explosives in a complex background as well as to distinguish mixtures of volatile organic compounds distributed in gas phase. This sensor array is inexpensive, and can potentially be produced as single use disposable.
Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Pages (from-to)76730I
StatePublished - 2010
EventAdvanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies VII - USA, Orlando, FL


ConferenceAdvanced Environmental, Chemical, and Biological Sensing Technologies VII
CityUSA, Orlando, FL
Period01/01/2010 → …
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 3


  • Chemo-Responsive Dyes, Colorimetric Sensor Array, Principal Component Analysis, DNT, Color Difference Map, Volatile Organic Compounds
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ID: 6307025