Ling Zang and other researchers at the University of Utah have made carbon nanotubes that will enable more sensitive, more accurate, faster and more cost-effective detection of toxins in the environment, according to a recent story in Lab Manager.
In addition to toxic gases, the carbon nanotubes have also been used to detect explosives and illegal drugs. Zang’s electrically conductive carbon nanotubes are. Broken up and applied to electrode films, causing electrical current between the electrodes to change whenever the substance of interest is detected.
Zang’s team has used the nanotubes in a prototype handheld scanner to detect toxic gases such as sarin, and explosives such as TNT. So far Zang and the other researchers have used the nanotubes to detect approximately 24 toxic gases and more than 12 types of explosives.
Top image: Professor Ling Zang holds a prototype detector. (Credit: Dan Hixon)