Black silicon can help detect explosives

EurekAlert  November 27, 2019
Detection of nitroaromatic compounds (NAC) vapors is challenging owing to their low vapor pressure and relatively weak sensitivity of the existing detection techniques. An international team of researchers (Russia, Australia) proposes a novel concept to design fluorescence (FL) detection platforms based on chemical functionalization of nanotextured dielectric surfaces exhibiting resonant light absorption, trapping, and localization effects. They demonstrated the sensor with selective FL-quenching response from monolayers of carbazole moieties covalently bonded to a spiky silicon surface, “black” silicon. It provided unprecedented ppt (10–12) range limits of detection for several NAC vapors. The easy-to-implement scalable fabrication procedure combined with simple and versatile functionalization techniques is applicable to all-dielectric surfaces for environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics, and forensic analysis…read more. TECHNICAL ARTICLE 

Inset schematically shows the structure of the carbazole molecule. Colored areas highlight several identified vibration bands of the carbazole. Credit: FEFU press office

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