Ultrasonic Standoff Photoacoustic Sensor for the Detection of Explosive and Hazardous Molecules
Standoff photoacoustic spectroscopic technique has been studied for the detection of hazardous molecules adsorbed on surfaces and in vapour/aerosols form in open air. Detection and identification of components in explosive mixtures in trace amounts is very challenging by any point or standoff spectroscopic detection technique. Discusses detection and identification of such components using standoff laser photoacoustic spectroscopic technique. Laser photoacoustic spectra of various trace molecules in the mid-infrared spectral band 7 μm - 9 μm have been recorded in vapor, aerosol, liquid forms as well as samples adsorbed on surfaces such as plastic and cloth. Pulsed quantum cascade laser is modulated at a frequency of 42 kHz resonant with that of microphone. Hazardous chemicals/explosives adsorbed on plastic and cloths surfaces were detected from a standoff distance up to 1.5 m. The sensitivities were found to be 20 μg/cm2, 20 μl liquid and 1.0 ppm corresponding to solid, liquid and vapour phases respectively. The chemicals/explosives used in the study were PETN, DNT, Acetone, and DMMP. Our study suggests that the photoacoustic technique has high selectivity and sensitivity for the trace detection and be used for screening of suspicious objects for security applications as a handy product.
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