The chemical versatility of ammonia has been exploited for the illegal production of methamphetamines in clandestine laboratories. Large concentrations of ammonia are unusual in most consumer products. Thus, NH3 can be used by law enforcement officials as a sign that a methamphetamine lab may be present. Similarly, C6H6 is a volatile organic compound (VOCs), a type of highly volatile solvent used for production of illegal drugs. C6H6 is highly flammable, however, and can readily form explosive mixtures in air that can readily ignite if a spark or flame is encountered.
Our targeted sensors for ammonia and benzene can detect low levels of the specific gas up to the explosive levels and transmit its signal through drones equipped with the integrated sensor. These devices will find optimal use by first responders, especially law enforcement.