A chemical and biological agent sensor includes an electrostatic thin film supported by a substrate. The film includes an electrostatic charged surface to attract predetermined biological and chemical agents of interest. A charge collector associated with said electrostatic thin film collects charge associated with surface defects in the electrostatic film induced by the predetermined biological and chemical agents of interest. A preferred sensing system includes a charge based deep level transient spectroscopy system to read out charges from the film and match responses to data sets regarding the agents of interest. A method for sensing biological and chemical agents includes providing a thin sensing film having a predetermined electrostatic charge. The film is exposed to an environment suspected of containing the biological and chemical agents. Quantum surface effects on the film are measured. Biological and/or chemical agents can be detected, identified and quantified based on the measured quantum surface effects.