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Keywords:

  • explosives;
  • field-effect transistors;
  • Meisenheimer complexes;
  • nanostructures;
  • sensors
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Dog on a chip: Explosives can be detected with unprecedented sensitivity by using arrays of silicon nanowire field-effect transistors modified with an electron-rich aminosilane monolayer, which form complexes with the analytes (see picture). These “nanosniffers” can be used to sense the presence of TNT at concentrations as low as 1×10−6 ppt, which is superior to that of sniffer dogs or any other known explosive detection method.