Portable low-power electronic interface for explosive detection using microcantilevers

  • García-Romeo D
  • Pellejero I
  • Urbiztondo M
 et al. 
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Microcantilevers have been recently revealed as a highly effective technique for gas detection at trace level when acting as chemical sensors. However, an important milestone still remains to achieve a full-scale development in commercial applications: the cumbersome systems traditionally used to read-out its responses. To accomplish this, a portable low-power electronic interface, based on an analog lock-in amplifier processing square signals, which is fully capable of creating the excitation signal as well as obtaining the response values from resonating microcantilevers functionalized with zeolite based coatings has been herein attempted. The so obtained read-out results are in good agreement with the commercial lock-in amplifier's measurements, demonstrating the accuracy and reliability of the electronic interface. Finally, its performance has been validated for 2-nitrotoluene (o-MNT) detection at ppm V level, as an example of an explosive-related molecule, with BEA zeolite coated microcantilevers. Theoretical limit of detection (LOD) values below 100 ppb have been obtained for Co exchanged BEA modified sensors. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Explosives
  • Gas sensing
  • Microcantilevers
  • Nanoporous coating
  • Portable lock-in amplifier
  • Zeolites

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