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Vol. 128, Issue 5, May 2011, pp.73-80




Detection of VX Simulants Using Piezoresistive Microcantilever Sensors


1Timothy PORTER, 2Richard VENEDAM, 2Kevin KYLE and 3Gus WILLIAMS

1Physics, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas, NV, 89154, USA

2National Security Technologies LLC, Las Vegas, NV, 89193, USA

3Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, 84602, USA

1Tel.: (702) 895-2058

E-mail: tim.porter@unlv.edu



Received: 23 December 2010   /Accepted: 20 May 2011   /Published: 28 May 2011


Abstract: Piezoresistive microcantilever sensors may be used in a variety of sensing applications, including chemical analytes and some types of biological species. These sensors employ a tiny piezoresistive microcantilever functionalized with a “sensing material” that acts as a probe for the desired analyte. In this study, the microcantilever was partially embedded into the sensing material, producing a sensor element that is highly rigid and resistant to shock, making it suitable for portable or handheld operation. The sensing material matrix used was Hypol, a hydrogel capable of preserving the bio-functionality of molecules embedded into it. This matrix was combined with acetylcholinesterase to form the composite sensing material. Results of exposing these sensors to a VX simulant, Malathion, are presented for both vapor and liquid environments.


Keywords: Piezoresistive microcantilever sensor, VX


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