3 June 2011 Detection of TATP precursor acetone at trace levels using rf sputtered SnO2 thin film-based sensors
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Abstract
Emerging threats of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and homemade explosives (HMEs) have created a demand for reliable and unambiguous recognition of constituent analytes. Triacetone triperoxide (TATP), a cyclic peroxide based explosive has become a weapon of choice [1] in the hands of resourceful urban insurgents mainly because of ease of manufacture with readily available precursor constituents (acetone and concentrated hydrogen peroxide). Failure of conventional EDDs due to absence of nitrogen compounds coupled with the fact that TATP exhibits no significant absorption in UV region and does not demonstrate fluorescence has confined its detection to IR and Raman spectroscopy besides some enzyme-based tests and mass spectrometry [2]. Hence there is an urgent need for highly sensitive technique with a fast response speed that can detect presence of TATP at extremely low vapour pressure and purposely camouflaged physically or under cross-contamination with interfering compounds. In the present work trace level (20 ppm) acetone (precursor of TATP) sensing characteristics of rf sputtered semiconducting SnO2 thin films having embedded Pt interdigital electrodes have been investigated. Specifically a fast response speed of 08 seconds is noted and sensing characteristics of bare SnO2 and catalyst-SnO2 hetero-structures are compared. Innovative catalyst dispersal technique is shown to enhance sensor response as also reduce response times. Novel sensing hetero-structures with reversible acetone detection capabilities are shown to provide a feasible alternative for real-field operation along with remote detection with limited sample size.
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Arijit Chowdhuri, Anjali Sharma, Vinay Gupta, "Detection of TATP precursor acetone at trace levels using rf sputtered SnO2 thin film-based sensors", Proc. SPIE 8018, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XII, 80181V (3 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.883761; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.883761
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