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SCI/TECH: Nanoshells may improve chemical sensors

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posted on Jan, 13 2005 @ 05:43 AM
Researchers at Rice University in Houston, Texas have developed an new type of Nanoparticle that improves the sensitivity of chemical detectors using a technique called Raman Scattering. The Nanoshells in question act as Raman enhancers as Raman Scattering itself is relatively weak. This new technique will improve traditional Rama Scattering based sensors 10 billion times more sensitive.
Nanoparticles known as nanoshells can enhance chemical sensing as much as 10 billion times, according to a new study, which could allow the creation of new tools for probing individual cells as well as detecting everything from disease proteins to biological weapons.

When molecules scatter light, a small fraction of the light interacts in a way that allows scientists to determine an object's chemical makeup. Known as Raman scattering, this phenomenon is exploited for such things as drug design.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

This is very big news for the Anti-Biological warfare units as well as terminally ill patients as it could speed up and increase the accuracy of tests by a wide margin. The Nanoshell itself is made out of a non-conducting glass core with a shell made out of either gold or silver and was discovered in the 90s by Naomi Halas. The approximate size of these Gold or Silver Nanoshells are 1/20th the size of a red blood cell.

The research is reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (read abstract).

[edit on 13-1-2005 by sardion2000]


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