(718g) Microstructured Conducting Polymer Swabs for Enhanced Trace Explosive Detection
In this work, we present a novel swabbing material for the enhanced removal of explosive particles from surfaces. Polypyrrole (PPy) microstructured films were synthesized with a variety of form factors through a templated electropolymerization process. The removal of representative fluorescent particles from aluminum surfaces was examined as a function of polymer microstructure. PPy-based microstructured films displayed an increase in particle removal properties when compared to PPy-based non-microstructured films and commercial of-the-shelf (COTS) swabs. This increase in removal is due to an increase in particle-swab contact from the increased surface area of the microstructured films. Furthermore, these polymer films were easily functionalized with surface groups with increased adhesion to explosive compounds such as trinitrotoluene (TNT) to develop next generation materials for trace explosive detection.