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Microcantilever detector for explosives

United States Patent

June 29, 1999
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Oak Ridge National Laboratory - Visit the Partnerships Directorate Website
Methods and apparatus for detecting the presence of explosives by analyzing a vapor sample from the suspect vicinity utilize at least one microcantilever. Explosive gas molecules which have been adsorbed onto the microcantilever are subsequently heated to cause combustion. Heat, along with momentum transfer from combustion, causes bending and a transient resonance response of the microcantilever which may be detected by a laser diode which is focused on the microcantilever and a photodetector which detects deflection of the reflected laser beam caused by heat-induced deflection and resonance response of the microcantilever.
Thundat; Thomas G. (Knoxville, TN)
Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation (Oak Ridge, TN)
09/ 052,252
March 31, 1998
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to contract no. DE-AC05-960R22464 between the United States Department of Energy and Lockheed Martin Energy Research Corporation.