Nanoscale Explosives and Narcotics Trace Detection in Homeland Security

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Published: 10 Feb 2017

Due to threats of terrorist attacks around the world in recent times, the demand for homeland security technologies is growing at a rapid pace. Airport security--that includes explosives and narcotics trace detection (ETD)--is a key aspect of homeland security; developing technologies and products that can mitigate the risk has been a key focus of R&D efforts, especially in the US and Western Europe. It is expected that nanotechnology will increasingly impact ETD by improving the sensing capabilities and portability of explosives and narcotics detectors. This Nanotech TOE highlights recent improvements and innovations in nanoscale explosives and narcotics trace detection technologies in homeland security. The Nanotech TechVision Opportunity Engine (TOE) provides intelligence on technologies, products, processes, applications, and strategic insights on nanotechnology-related innovations and their impact across various industries. Technology focus areas include nanomaterials, nanocoatings, nanohealthcare, nanomedicine, and nanomanufacturing. The need for low power, smaller, lighter sensors with enhanced performance attributes and minimal false alarms is driving innovations in the sensors space. The Sensors and Instrumentation cluster covers innovations pertaining to technologies such as wireless sensors and networks, energy harvesting, haptics and touch, MEMS and nanosensors, Terahertz, ubiquitous/smart sensors, CBRNE, quantified-self, sensor fusion, M2M communications, and drones. Keywords: Explosives detection, narcotics trace detection, nanotransistor, carbon nanotubes, plasmonic nanoresonator

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