CW Indicating Chromophore for Decontamination Operations

Period of Performance: 04/20/2004 - 10/19/2004


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nomadics, Inc.
1024 S. Innovation Way
Stillwater, OK 74074
Principal Investigator


Nomadics is currently working with a novel chemical weapon indicating chromophore (CWIC) that can make CW agent contamination literally glow in the dark. Developed by Professor Tim Swager at MIT, CWICs will allow equipment to be quickly and easily examined to show any areas of contamination, making targeted decontamination manageable. Nomadics' experience in developing remarkably sensitive and selective sensors from fluorescent materials will facilitate the quick development of a fast surface contamination detection system. When exposed to CW agent simulants, CWICs react to become fluorescent under UV stimulation. The CWICs have been proven against surrogates and will soon be tested against actual agents. In the proposed effort, we will implement a system employing CWICs to indicate whether an area is contaminated by chemical agents. An especially important feature of these chromophores is that it has been shown to be responsive only to chemicals that are in fact hazardous even if they are not typically considered CW agents. Similarly, because the CWICs respond only to reactive materials, they are not subject to interference even from compounds that normally serve as surrogates for CW agents. Thus, the proposed work should lead to development of an effective system for assessing CW agent contamination.