Novel sniffer device to detect explosives in a jiffy

Moscow, Aug 16 (IANS) A graphene-based spaser can lead to manufacturing plasmonic devices capable of detecting explosive materials, toxic chemicals and other organic compounds in an efficient way, physicists say.

A spaser is a device similar to a laser and operates on the same basic principle.

Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, two physicists from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, were the first to isolate graphene which won them a Nobel Prize in Physics.

A two-dimensional form of carbon, Graphene is a semiconductor with extremely high charge carrier mobility.

In a paper appeared in the journal Physical Review B, the duo found that graphene might be the ideal material for manufacturing plasmonic devices.

Scientists have long been fascinated by the potential applications of plasmon, a quantum of plasma oscillations.

In the case of a solid body, plasmons are the oscillations of free electrons.

“‘The graphene spaser could be used to design compact spectral measurement devices capable of detecting even a single molecule of a substance, which is essential for many potential applications,” the authors noted.

“Such sensors could detect organic molecules based on their characteristic vibrational transitions (‘fingerprints’), as the light emitted/absorbed falls into the medium infrared region, which is exactly where the graphene-based spaser operates,” explained Alexander Dorofeenko, one of the authors of the study.

–IANS

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