Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) interests in nanoscience are primarily focused on the application of nanoscale materials and devices that provide enhancements in component technology performance for homeland security applications. The applications for the efforts described below are in threat detection for enhanced security for aviation, mass transit, and first responders:
• Materials toolbox: These efforts are focused on the development of materials systems that allow systematic control of chemical and structural features from molecular scales (functional groups) through nano- and microscales. The ability to precisely tune material properties is critical for successful development of improved active sensor surfaces and analyte collection substrates as well as development of novel sensing structures and arrays.
• Advanced preconcentrators: The DHS Science and Technology Directorate is currently investigating the development of high-performance preconcentrators for use in next-generation detection systems. The focus of these efforts is the development of nano- and microscale materials that enable radio-frequency and optical control of device temperature. To date, several functional prototypes have been demonstrated. Commercialization of these devices is currently being pursued.
• Advanced sensing platforms: Work on the development of multimodal carbon nanotube sensing platforms continues with industry partners. The emphasis of these efforts is on development of manufacturing techniques for low-cost sensor platforms.


FY 2015 Proposed $32.4 million


Ron McNeal ron.mcneal (at)