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A comparison of chemical TNT sensors and a dog sniffing for TNT
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Class of 2021
Major:
Chemistry
English

Rachel Siegel, '21, is double majoring in Chemistry and English-Writing. During her fellowship, Rachel researched different types of TNT detectors to discover what chemical principles allow for them to function, research that she is continuing. She also wrote a physical chemistry lab experiment that is currently being reviewed for publication in the Journal of Chemical Education. She plans to continue her chemistry education and earn a phD with the goal of eventually becoming a chemistry professor.

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Description

TNT is both toxic and explosive, the detection of TNT represents an environmental and security concern. Dogs are often used for detection, but other methods are needed. This research project originally intended to understand how Ruthenium based TNT sensors function by discovering the mechanism by which Ruthenium’s fluorescence is quenched by TNT. Due to the nature of the summer, majority of my time was spent doing a literature review of previous TNT sensors. This research shifted my research question to revolve around polymer TNT sensors, which is the key factor of my senior research project. Over the course of the summer, I also wrote a physical chemistry lab experiment revolving around the quenching of Rubipy by TNT. This lab is currently under review by the Journal of Chemistry Education.