Tired with expensive explosives detectors? The good news comes from Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) where Dr. Krishna Naishadham and Judy Song (XiaoJuan) have invented the first ink-jet printable ammonia sensor for affordable, practical explosives detection.

The printable explosives detection device is manufactured using a simple printing process using carbon nanotubes on paper or ‘paper-like’ materials, including the plastic base polyethylene terephthalate material.

The ink consists of silver nanoparticles that held in liquid emulsion that will get passed through an ink-jet printer’s 212 F (100 degree Celsius) temperature.


This special ink with carbon nanotubes itself is treated with ultrasonic waves going through a process known as sonification, which alters the viscosity and thus producing more homogenous ink for greater effectiveness.

Georgia-Tech-School-of-Electrical-and-Computer-Engineering-prof-Manos-Tentzeris-and-Rushi-Vyas-printing-the explosives-detector-with-inkjet-manufacturing-system

These about 1/50,000th width of human hair’s carbon nanotubes are then coated with a conductive polymer capable to attract ammonia for more effective explosives sensor in detecting trace amounts of ammonia as low as five parts per million. Using different type of coatings the carbon nanotubes will be able to detect other chemical including gases.


Should the new printable explosives detection technology will eventually replace the conventional sniffer dogs? Only time will tell…

[ Source: Georgia Tech ]