Selective and sensitive detection of explosives is very important in countering terrorist threats. Detecting trace explosives has become a very complex and expensive endeavor because of a number of factors, such as the wide variety of materials that can be used as explosives, the lack of easily detectable signatures, the vast number of avenues by which these weapons can be deployed, and the lack of inexpensive sensors with high sensitivity and selectivity. High sensitivity and selectivity, combined with the ability to lower the deployment cost of sensors using mass production, is essential in winning the war on explosives-based terrorism. Nanosensors have the potential to satisfy all the requirements for an effective platform for the trace detection of explosives.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(08)70017-8