Multi-colorimetric sensor array for detection of explosives in gas and liquid phase

Natalie Kostesha, Tommy Sonne Alstrøm, C. Johnsen, K. A. Nielsen, J. O. Jeppesen, Jan Larsen, Anja Boisen, Mogens Havsteen Jakobsen

    Research output: Contribution to journalConference articleResearchpeer-review


    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, TATP, HMX, RDX and identification of reagents needed for making homemade explosives. The technology is based on an array of chemoselective compounds immobilized on a solid support. Upon exposure to the analyte in suspicion the colorimetric array changes color. Each chosen compound 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 compounds 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 colorimetric array before and after exposure to the analytes creates a color difference map which gives a unique fingerprint for each explosive and VOCs. Such sensing technology can be used for screening relevant explosives in a complex background as well as to distinguish mixtures of volatile organic compounds distributed in gas and liquid phases. 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)80181H
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventChemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Sensing - Orlando, Forida, USA
    Duration: 1 Jan 2011 → …
    Conference number: 12


    ConferenceChemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives Sensing
    CityOrlando, Forida, USA
    Period01/01/2011 → …


    • Principal component analysis
    • Colorimetric sensor array
    • HMX
    • Chemo-selective compounds
    • DNT
    • RDX
    • TATP

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