Compact Raman Sensor for Underwater Explosives Detection
Agency / Branch:
DOD / NAVY
We propose to develop a compact, marine-deployable chemical sensor for the underwater detection of explosives using surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). SERS is a well known tool for chemical identification, down to the single molecule level of sensitivity that provides some unique advantages for the present topic. These include application to aqueous environments, sensitive to all classes of explosives (nitro, peroxide, etc), proven trace detection capability in water, and no sample preparation or extraction required. For these reasons we propose to develop a prototype SERS sensor unit for underwater explosives detection in a configuration consistent with the size, power, and other specifications required to allow utilization with the Navy HULS and DHINS programs. In order to provide the optimum sensitivity for trace explosive detection we plan to utilize an integrated gold nanosurface SERS detector, a design based on the Company''s proprietary SERS chip technology. In principle, any explosive agents or their residue in seawater that comes in contact with the gold sampling surface will be detectable via a characteristic vibrational signature of that analyte. We expect that the full range of explosive contaminants which might be potentially encountered in the marine environment will be amenable to this approach.
Small Business Information at Submission:
15 Cabot Road Woburn, MA 01801
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