Nanotechnology has opened a wide range of opportunities having potential impacts in areas as diverse as medicine and consumer products. In collaboration with researchers at the University of Toledo UT, Air Force Institute of Technology AFIT scientists are exploring the possibility of using a nanoscale organic matrix to detect organophosphate OP nerve agents. Current techniques for detecting OP compounds are expensive and time consuming. Developing a nanoscale organic matrix sensor would allow for direct, real-time sensing under field conditions. This article describes the science behind such a sensor and its possible applications. High-performance sensors are needed to protect Soldiers and civilians from attack. At present, doctrine requires Air Force units to resume their primary mission within two hours of a chemical or biological strike.1 Meeting the two-hour operational goal may mean the difference between defeat and victory. However, OP detection capabilities now in place are limited in sensitivity, time required to operate, and ease of use, making the specified two-hour window difficult to meet.
Air and Space Power Journal
Goltz, M. N., Kim, D. S., & Racz, L. (2011). Using Nanotechnology to Detect Nerve Agents. Air and Space Power Journal, 25(2), 56–60.