There is no denying that Inkjet Printers are infinitely useful these days. You can print reports, pictures, stickers, and bomb detectors- did I just say bomb detectors? Yes, I certainly did. Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have created a prototype wireless sensor that is capable of detecting explosives and uses simple inkjet printing techniques for production. The sensor is designed to detect traces of ammonia easily, which is often the key ingredient in explosives.
The new technology is the brain-child of Manos Tentzeris, a Professor at Georgia Tech, who designed the inkjet techniques for the project and aims to provide a detection system that is not only cheap but also easy to produce in mass.
The process of creating the sensor involves the printing carbon nanotubes onto specialized paper-like material and uses ink that consists of silver nanoparticles that can be passed through a standard inkjet printer. So what’s the significance of such a technology and why should we care? In today’s world there is a growing need for bomb detection methods in government buildings, airports, shipyards, and hell, even in schools these days. Unfortunately, today’s explosives detection methods come in two flavors: low cost with awful results, or get results with a very high cost. This new technology aims to bring us an effective way of sensing out explosives at a much more reasonable cost, while consuming less energy and requiring less specialized knowledge to operate.
If the device works as promised and lives up to the hype, it could provide a very important role in explosives detection around the world; thanks to its small design, low cost, and energy efficient form factor.