A low-cost, portable optical explosive-vapour sensor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


Humanitarian demining requires a broad range of methodologies
and instrumentation for reliable identification of landmines,
antipersonnel mines, and other explosive remnants of war (ERWs). Optical
sensing methods are ideal for this purpose due to advantages in
sensitivity, time-of-response and small form factor. In this work we
present a portable photoluminescence-based sensor for nitroaromatic
vapours based on the conjugated polymer Super Yellow integrated into an
instrument comprising an excitation LED, photodiode, Arduino
microprocessor and pumping mechanics for vapour delivery. The instrument
was shown to be sensitive to few-ppb concentrations of explosive vapours
under laboratory conditions, and responds to simulated buried landmine
vapour. The results indicate that a lightweight, easy-to-operate, lowcost
and highly-sensitive optical sensor can be readily constructed for
landmine and ERW detection in the field, with potential to aid worldwide
efforts in landmine mitigation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-340
JournalSensors and Actuators B: Chemical
Early online date30 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2017


  • Explosives detection
  • Super Yellow
  • Arduino
  • Photoluminescence
  • ERW
  • Humanitarian Demining


Dive into the research topics of 'A low-cost, portable optical explosive-vapour sensor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this