By: Carly O'Keefe
Zang hopes to bunch millions or even billions of the tiny fibers together to make a microscopic net that would trap vapor particles in the air that would indicate explosives were nearby. "If you have explosive TNT buried underground, you can measure the vapor above ground," said Zang.
But how do you know if you've caught invisible vapors in a microscopic net?? According to Zang, the millions of tiny fibers he'll use to detect explosives are made up of florescent molecules. That, when placed under an ultraviolet light, glow. But when vapor particles from an explosive like TNT become ensnared in those microscopic fibers, the fibers are blocked from the UV light and no longer glow. That would be the indicator to a soldier or airport security officer that there are explosives are in the immediate area. "The detector in the device should be fast enough to detect a suicide bomber before he's close enough," said Zang.