RealNews

Engineers Develop Biowarfare Sensing Elements

A sensing device tailored for mass production of highly sensitive and stable nerve-gas detectors has been developed by a research group led by a mechanical engineer at The University of Texas at Austin. The new sensor technology, which was more sensitive and much more stable than its predecessors, was featured on this week’s cover of Applied Physics Letters. The researchers’ highlighted study demonstrated the sensor’s potential ability to detect a single molecule of the nerve gas, sarin, the most toxic of biological warfare agents. The researchers, led by Dr. Li Shi, designed and tested a nanometer-thin crystal of tin oxide sandwiched between two electrodes. When a built-in micro-heater heated the super-thin device, the tin oxide reacted with exquisite sensitivity to gases. Full Story

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