Skip to main content
  1. News
  2. Top News

Purdue University makes Star Trek ‘tricorder’ close to a reality

See also

R. Graham Cooks, Henry B. Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, from Purdue University and Thalappil Pradeep, a professor of chemistry, at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras announced their developments in the miniaturization of mass spectrometers that bode for making something like the Star Trek “tricorder” a reality at the Purdue University website on March 25, 2014.

The researchers developed a new sampling method that requires that a minimal amount of sample be placed on paper that contains an eluting solvent. The sample molecules are extracted from the paper as ions by a low voltage electric source. The ions are then vacuumed into the mass spectrometer analysis chamber.

The electric field necessary for ionization is created by a sampling paper that contains carbon nanotubes.

The nanotubes increase the rate of conversion of electricity to a usable electric field that is equivalent to 10 million volts per centimeter.

The low energy requirements make the mass spectrometer portable and capable of being powered by a battery. The nanotube sampling system further reduces the size of the device and eliminates any background noise.

This development will allow mass spectrometry, one of the most powerful chemical detection methods, to be available at a relatively low cost to physicians, farmers, and law enforcement. Body fluid analysis, potential pest control problems, detection of terrorist threats, and the elucidation of any chemical spill will be portable and extremely fast with the new device.

Advertisement

News

  • Gaza conflict
    Israel official: Ceasefire and expanding Gaza conflict are both being discussed
    Video
    Video
  • Air Algerie crash
    Conflicting reports about the Air Algerie disappearance begin to emerge
    Top News
  • Arizona execution
    A Senator familiar with torture denounces Joseph Wood's botched execution as such
    US News
  • Ray Rice suspended
    Ravens' running back Ray Rice is suspended for two games for a domestic violence arrest
    Sports
  • Amazon tribe falls ill
    An Amazonian tribe catches influenza after making first contact with the developed world
    Headlines
  • CIA prison in Poland
    Poland is declared guilty of human rights violations for hosting a secret CIA prison
    Video
    Video

Related Videos:

  • Philadelphia carjackers: Help cops find men who jacked SUV and killed 3 kids
    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/GDvcg8iAuis?VQ=HD720&amp;allowfullscreen=true&amp;autoplay=1"></iframe>
  • Diabetic glucose testing
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518200015" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518200015&autoStart=true"></div>
  • China river turns blood red: Natural phenomenon, biblical plague, or act of men?
    <div class="video-info" data-id="518342493" data-param-name="playList" data-provider="5min" data-url="http://pshared.5min.com/Scripts/PlayerSeed.js?sid=1304&width=480&height=401&playList=518342493&autoStart=true"></div>