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 01.10.2008   Карта сайта     Language По-русски По-английски
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01.10.2008



Fluorescent polymer detects peroxide



29 September 2008



US scientists have developed an easy route to a polymer that can detect peroxide-based explosives.


Structure of the polymer and airport security check








The boronate-based polymer can rapidly detect low quantities of peroxide-based explosives



Security teams need robust and portable explosive-detection devices to help prevent terrorist attacks. But peroxide-based explosives, such as triacetone triperoxide (TATP) and hexamethylene triperoxide diamine (HMTD), are challenging targets for detection because they lack aromatic or nitro groups. Jason Sanchez and William Trogler at the University of California, San Diego, US, have developed a new route to a boronate-based polymer that they say can rapidly detect low quantities of these explosives.


Trogler explains that the key to detecting TATP and HMTD is to detect the hydrogen peroxide they produce when they decompose. Current methods for detecting hydrogen peroxide typically involve liquid sampling, he says, which is not ideal for practical applications.



"This is an excellent piece of work and a nice addition to the toolbox of polymer chemists"
- Ben Zhong Tan, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, China

Sanchez and Trogler linked together molecules containing two boronate groups with a tetra-hydroxy compound, in a process called double transesterification. Not only is this the first application of this reaction to the synthesis of stabilised boronate polymers, says Trogler, but the polymer product fluoresces within 30 seconds when exposed to hydrogen peroxide vapour at levels as low as 30 parts per million.


'This is an excellent piece of work and a nice addition to the toolbox of polymer chemists,' says Ben Zhong Tan, an expert in polymer science at the Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, China.


Trogler concludes that their polymer 'provides a robust low-cost alternative to current technology' for detecting hydrogen peroxide, something that Tan agrees 'will be of great importance for homeland security'.


David Barden




Link to journal article



Polymerization of a boronate-functionalized fluorophore by double transesterification: applications to fluorescence detection of hydrogen peroxide vapor
Jason C. Sanchez and William C. Trogler, J. Mater. Chem., 2008
DOI: 10.1039/b809674k


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