Student Author: Ann Thomas (Class of 2006)
Faculty Author: Dr. David Baum
Concern about biological terror has increased greatly in the 21st century and hence, so has the need for accurate detection and identification of biological hazards. Optical techniques have shown to be useful for this purpose. By looking at the fluorescence lifetimes as a function of emission wavelength for different materials, there is the possibility that the data gathered from each material can be accurately compared with unknown materials using point detection. Although the lifetimes range between 2-6 ns, each material that was tested seemed to be distinguishable when compared. This led to a preliminary database for possible use in a future system. Ann Thomas presented her research at the National Conference on the Undergraduate Research (NCUR) in Lexington, Virginia as well as published her results in the NCUR proceedings. This research was supported by funds from the United States Army.