A portable explosive detector based on fluorescence quenching of pyrene deposited on coloured wax-printed μPADs
A new technique for the detection of explosives has been developed based on fluorescence quenching of pyrene on paper-based analytical devices (μPADs). Wax barriers were generated (150 °C, 5 min) using ten different colours. Magenta was found as the most suitable wax colour for the generation of the hydrophobic barriers with a nominal width of 120 μm resulting in fully functioning hydrophobic barriers. One microliter of 0.5 mg mL−1 pyrene dissolved in an 80 : 20 methanol–water solution was deposited on the hydrophobic circle (5 mm diameter) to produce the active microchip device. Under ultra-violet (UV) illumination, ten different organic explosives were detected using the μPAD, with limits of detection ranging from 100–600 ppm. A prototype of a portable battery operated instrument using a 3 W power UV light-emitting-diode (LED) (365 nm) and a photodiode sensor was also built and evaluated for the successful automatic detection of explosives and potential application for field-based screening.