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IFF-8 presents new sensor for hazardous liquids

IFF-News October 1, 2009


Researchers at IFF-8 have developed a novel type of sensor allowing a reliable as well as ultrafast differentiation between liquid explosives and harmless fluids. In the current issue of Superconductor Science and Technolgy (Vol 22, No 11, p 114005) members of IFF-8's sensorics and spectrometry working party report on the prospects of analysing liquids via precise electromagnetic spectrometry analysis.

Fast and reliable identification of liquids is of great importance in, for example, security, biology and the beverage industry. An unambiguous identification of liquids can be made by electromagnetic measurements of their dielectric functions in the frequency range of their main dispersions, but this frequency range, from a few GHz to a few THz, is not covered by any conventional spectroscopy. Researchers of IFF-8 have developed a concept of liquid identification based on Hilbert spectroscopy and high-Tc Josephson junctions, which can operate at the intermediate range from microwaves to THz frequencies.

A demonstration setup has been developed consisting of a polychromatic radiation source and a compact Hilbert spectrometer integrated in a Stirling cryocooler. Reflection polychromatic spectra of various bottled liquids have been measured at the spectral range of 15 to 300 GHz with total scanning time down to 0.2 seconds and identification of liquids has been successfully demonstrated.

Research Centre Jülich Press Release (German) of 20 October 2009
Superconductor Science and Technolgy, Vol 22, No 11, p 114005