Detection of dissolved TNT and DNT in soil with a MEMS explosive particle detector
MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technology was used to fabricate bimetallic cantilever sensors for detecting the trinitrotoluene (TNT) and dinitrotoluene (DNT) residue found in mine fields. A number of experiments yielded reproducible results for the detection of pure 2,4 - Dinitrotoluene nanogram particles. A few experiments were performed unsuccessfully to detect explosives directly from soil by placing it on the cantilevers. Alternatively, DNT and TNT were extracted from the soil using acetone and subsequently letting acetone to leave DNT and TNT as a residue. This residue has been placed on the cantilever for detection that yielded very uncertain results. This residue contains a number of other materials, which changes the physical properties of the residue considerably making it unfit for detection using microcantilevers.