Green Chemistry: Using Lasers to Detect Explosives and Hazardous Waste

Photo of a laser ablation-based explosives detection system.
June 2009

New technology uses laser ablation - laser pulses that vaporize small amounts of material - to test for hazardous wastes and explosives while generating almost no chemical waste. The technology can save the lives of soldiers, keep children safe from toys illegally coated with lead paints, and protect workers from chemical poisoning.