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Rapid Quantitative Analysis of Multiple Explosive Compound Classes on a Single Instrument via Flow-Injection Analysis Tandem Mass Spectrometry

Summary

A flow-injection analysis tandem mass spectrometry (FIA MSMS) method was developed for rapid quantitative analysis of 10 different inorganic and organic explosives. Performance is optimized by tailoring the ionization method (APCI/ESI), de-clustering potentials, and collision energies for each specific analyte. In doing so, a single instrument can be used to detect urea nitrate, potassium chlorate, 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, 2,4,6-trinitrophenylmethylnitramine, triacetone triperoxide, hexamethylene triperoxide diamine, pentaerythritol tetranitrate, 1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-triazine, nitroglycerin, and octohy-dro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine with sensitivities all in the picogram per milliliter range. In conclusion, FIA APCI/ESI MSMS is a fast (<1 min/sample), sensitive (~pg/mL LOQ), and precise (intraday RSD < 10%) method for trace explosive detection that can play an important role in criminal and attributional forensics, counterterrorism, and environmental protection areas, and has the potential to augment or replace several of the existing explosive detection methods.
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Summary

A flow-injection analysis tandem mass spectrometry (FIA MSMS) method was developed for rapid quantitative analysis of 10 different inorganic and organic explosives. Performance is optimized by tailoring the ionization method (APCI/ESI), de-clustering potentials, and collision energies for each specific analyte. In doing so, a single instrument can be used to...

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Optical Nondestructive Dynamic Measurements of Wafer-Scale Encapsulated Nanofluidic Channels

Published in:
Applied Optics, vol. 57, no. 15

Summary

Nanofluidic channels are of great interest for DNA sequencing, chromatography, and drug delivery. However, metrology of embedded or sealed nanochannels and measurement of their fill-state have remained extremely challenging. Existing techniques have been restricted to optical microscopy, which suffers from insufficient resolution, or scanning electron microscopy, which cannot measure sealed or embedded channels without cleaving the sample. Here, we demonstrate a novel method for accurately extracting nanochannel cross-sectional dimensions and monitoring fluid filling, utilizing spectroscopic ellipsometric scatterometry, combined with rigorous electromagnetic simulations. Our technique is capable of measuring channel dimensions with better than 5-nm accuracy and assessing channel filling within seconds. The developed technique is, thus, well suited for both process monitoring of channel fabrication as well as for studying complex phenomena of fluid flow through nanochannel structures.
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Summary

Nanofluidic channels are of great interest for DNA sequencing, chromatography, and drug delivery. However, metrology of embedded or sealed nanochannels and measurement of their fill-state have remained extremely challenging. Existing techniques have been restricted to optical microscopy, which suffers from insufficient resolution, or scanning electron microscopy, which cannot measure sealed...

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Highly Efficient All-Optical Beam Modulation Utilizing Thermo-optic Effects

Summary

Suspensions of plasmonic nanoparticles can diffract optical beams due to the combination of thermal lensing and self-phase modulation. Here, we demonstrate extremely efficient optical continuous wave (CW) beam switching across the visible range in optimized suspensions of 5-nm Au and Ag nanoparticles in non-polar solvents, such as hexane and decane. On-axis modulation of greater than 30 dB is achieved at incident beam intensities as low as 100 W/cm2 with response times under 200 μs, at initial solution transparency above 70%. No evidence of laser-induced degradation is observed for the highest intensities used. Numerical modeling of experimental data reveals thermo-optic coefficients of up to −1.3 × 10−3 /K, which, to our knowledge, is the highest observed to date in such nanoparticle suspensions.
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Summary

Suspensions of plasmonic nanoparticles can diffract optical beams due to the combination of thermal lensing and self-phase modulation. Here, we demonstrate extremely efficient optical continuous wave (CW) beam switching across the visible range in optimized suspensions of 5-nm Au and Ag nanoparticles in non-polar solvents, such as hexane and decane...

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Microsputterer with Integrated Ion-Drag Focusing for Additive Manufacturing of Thin, Narrow Conductive Lines(3.14 MB)

Published in:
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics, vol. 51, no. 16

Summary

We report the design, modelling, and proof-of-concept demonstration of a continuously fed, atmospheric-pressure microplasma metal sputterer that is capable of printing conductive lines narrower than the width of the target without the need for post-processing or lithographic patterning. Ion drag-induced focusing is harnessed to print narrow lines; the focusing mechanism is modelled via COMSOL Multiphysics simulations and validated with experiments. A microplasma sputter head with gold target is constructed and used to deposit imprints with minimum feature sizes as narrow as 9 µm, roughness as small as 55 nm, and electrical resistivity as low as 1.1 µΩ centerdot m.
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Summary

We report the design, modelling, and proof-of-concept demonstration of a continuously fed, atmospheric-pressure microplasma metal sputterer that is capable of printing conductive lines narrower than the width of the target without the need for post-processing or lithographic patterning. Ion drag-induced focusing is harnessed to print narrow lines; the focusing mechanism...

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Key Challenges and Prospects for Optical Standoff Trace Detection of Explosives

Published in:
Trends in Analytical Chemistry, vol. 100

Summary

Sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) challenge the capabilities of current sensors, particularly in areas away from static checkpoints. This security gap could be filled by standoff chemical sensors that detect IEDs based on external trace explosive residues. Unfortunately, previous efforts have not led to widely deployed capabilities. Crucially, the physical morphology of trace explosive residues and chemical “clutter” present unique challenges to the operational performance of standoff sensors. In this review, an overview of standoff trace explosive detection systems is provided in the context of these unique challenges. Tradespace analysis is performed for two popular standoff detection methods: longwave infrared hyperspectral imaging and deep-UV Raman spectroscopy. The tradespace analysis method described in this review incorporates realistic trace explosive residues and background clutter into the technology development process. The review predicts system performance and areas where additional research is needed for these two technologies to optimize performance.
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Summary

Sophisticated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) challenge the capabilities of current sensors, particularly in areas away from static checkpoints. This security gap could be filled by standoff chemical sensors that detect IEDs based on external trace explosive residues. Unfortunately, previous efforts have not led to widely deployed capabilities. Crucially, the physical...

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Bioelectronic measurement and feedback control of molecules in living cells

Published in:
Sci. Rep., Vol. 7, No. 1, 2 October 2017, 12511.

Summary

We describe an electrochemical measurement technique that enables bioelectronic measurements of reporter proteins in living cells as an alternative to traditional optical fluorescence. Using electronically programmable microfluidics, the measurement is in turn used to control the concentration of an inducer input that regulates production of the protein from a genetic promoter. The resulting bioelectronic and microfluidic negative-feedback loop then serves to regulate the concentration of the protein in the cell. We show measurements wherein a user-programmable set-point precisely alters the protein concentration in the cell with feedback-loop parameters affecting the dynamics of the closed-loop response in a predictable fashion. Our work does not require expensive optical fluorescence measurement techniques that are prone to toxicity in chronic settings, sophisticated time-lapse microscopy, or bulky/expensive chemo-stat instrumentation for dynamic measurement and control of biomolecules in cells. Therefore, it may be useful in creating a: cheap, portable, chronic, dynamic, and precise all-electronic alternative for measurement and control of molecules in living cells.
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Summary

We describe an electrochemical measurement technique that enables bioelectronic measurements of reporter proteins in living cells as an alternative to traditional optical fluorescence. Using electronically programmable microfluidics, the measurement is in turn used to control the concentration of an inducer input that regulates production of the protein from a genetic...

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Flexible glucose sensors and fuel cells for bioelectronic implants

Published in:
IEEE 60th Int. Midwest Symp. on Circuits and Systems, MWSCAS, 6-9 August 2017.

Summary

Microfabrication techniques were developed to create flexible 24 um thick glucose sensors on polyimide substrates. Measurements of the sensor performance, recorded as voltage potential, were carried out for a range of glucose concentrations (0 – 8 mM) in physiological saline (0.1 M NaCl, pH 7.4). The sensors show rapid response times (seconds to stable potential) and good sensitivity in the 0 – 4 mM range. Additionally, we demonstrate that the sensors can operate as fuel cells, generating peak power levels up to 0.94 uW/cm2. Such flexible devices, which can be rolled up to increase surface area within a fixed volume, may enable ultra-low-power bio-electronic implants for glucose sensing or glucose energy harvesting in the future.
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Summary

Microfabrication techniques were developed to create flexible 24 um thick glucose sensors on polyimide substrates. Measurements of the sensor performance, recorded as voltage potential, were carried out for a range of glucose concentrations (0 – 8 mM) in physiological saline (0.1 M NaCl, pH 7.4). The sensors show rapid response...

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Fluidic microoptics with adjustable focusing and beam steering for single cell optogenetics

Published in:
Opt. Express, Vol. 25, No. 14, 10 July 2017, pp. 16825-16839.

Summary

Electrically controlled micron-scale liquid lenses have been designed, fabricated and demonstrated, that provide both adjustable focusing and beam steering, with the goal of applying them to optogenetic in vivo mapping of brain activity with single cell resolution. The liquid lens is formed by the interface between two immiscible liquids which are contained in a conically tapered lens cavity etched into a fused silica substrate. Interdigitated electrodes have been patterned along the sidewall of the taper to control the liquid lens curvature and tilt. Microlenses with apertures ranging in size from 30 to 80 μm were fabricated and tunable focusing ranging from 0.25 to 3 mm and beam steering of ± 1 degree have been demonstrated.
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Summary

Electrically controlled micron-scale liquid lenses have been designed, fabricated and demonstrated, that provide both adjustable focusing and beam steering, with the goal of applying them to optogenetic in vivo mapping of brain activity with single cell resolution. The liquid lens is formed by the interface between two immiscible liquids which...

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Use of mass spectrometric vapor analysis to improve canine explosive detection efficiency

Published in:
Anal. Chem., Vol. 89, 9 June 2017, 6482-90.

Summary

Canines remain the gold standard for explosives detection in many situations, and there is an ongoing desire for them to perform at the highest level. This goal requires canine training to be approached similarly to scientific sensor design. Developing a canine training regimen is made challenging by a lack of understanding of the canine's odor environment, which is dynamic and typically contains multiple odorants. Existing methodology assumes that the handler's intention is an adequate surrogate for actual knowledge of the odors cuing the canine, but canines are easily exposed to unintentional explosive odors through training material cross-contamination. A sensitive, real-time (~1 s) vapor analysis mass spectrometer was developed to provide tools, techniques, and knowledge to better understand, train, and utilize canines. The instrument has a detection library of nine explosives and explosive-related materials consisting of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT), 2,6-dinitrotoluene (2,6-DNT), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), nitroglycerin (NG), 1,3,5-trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), triacetone triperoxide (TATP), hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), and cyclohexanone, with detection limits in the parts-per-trillion to parts-per-quadrillion range by volume. The instrument can illustrate aspects of vapor plume dynamics, such as detecting plume filaments at a distance. The instrument was deployed to support canine training in the field, detecting cross-contamination among training materials, and developing an evaluation method based on the odor environment. Support for training material production and handling was provided by studying the dynamic headspace of a nonexplosive HMTD training aid that is in development. These results supported existing canine training and identified certain areas that may be improved.
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Summary

Canines remain the gold standard for explosives detection in many situations, and there is an ongoing desire for them to perform at the highest level. This goal requires canine training to be approached similarly to scientific sensor design. Developing a canine training regimen is made challenging by a lack of...

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Open-source, community-driven microfluidics with Metafluidics

Published in:
Nat. Biotechnol., Vol. 35, No. 6, 7 June 2017, pp. 523-9.

Summary

Microfluidic devices have the potential to automate and miniaturize biological experiments, but open-source sharing of device designs has lagged behind sharing of other resources such as software. Synthetic biologists have used microfluidics for DNA assembly, cell-free expression, and cell culture, but a combination of expense, device complexity, and reliance on custom set-ups hampers their widespread adoption. We present Metafluidics, an open-source, community-driven repository that hosts digital design files, assembly specifications, and open-source software to enable users to build, configure, and operate a microfluidic device. We use Metafluidics to share designs and fabrication instructions for both a microfluidic ring-mixer device and a 32-channel tabletop microfluidic controller. This device and controller are applied to build genetic circuits using standard DNA assembly methods including ligation, Gateway, Gibson, and Golden Gate. Metafluidics is intended to enable a broad community of engineers, DIY enthusiasts, and other nontraditional participants with limited fabrication skills to contribute to microfluidic research.
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Summary

Microfluidic devices have the potential to automate and miniaturize biological experiments, but open-source sharing of device designs has lagged behind sharing of other resources such as software. Synthetic biologists have used microfluidics for DNA assembly, cell-free expression, and cell culture, but a combination of expense, device complexity, and reliance on...

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