Special Issue: "Photonic Sensors for Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear Agent Detection" - Sensors Journal

Guest Editors
Dr. Gary Pickrell 1 and Dr. Teng K. Ooi 2
1 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Materials Science and Engineering Department
Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Center for Photonics Technology, Blacksburg, Virginia 24061, USA
Tel. +1 540 231 4677 Fax +1 540 231 2158
2 United States Missile Defense Agency and Office of Naval Research
Tel. +1 256 313 9228
E-mail: pickrell@vt.edu; teng.ooi@mda.mil; http://www.ee.vt.edu/~photonics/Garypage.html

New extended deadline for well formatted papers: 31 January 2008 


Photonic sensors, including fiber optic sensors, have been the subject of intensive research over the last two decades for use in civil and military environments for detection of a wide variety of biological, chemical and nuclear agents.  Photonic sensor designs have been developed and demonstrated that have small size, light weight, high resolution, immunity to electromagnetic interference, harsh environment operational capability, “long-reach” access potential, multiplexing capability for certain sensor designs and low cost implementation attributes.  Photonic sensors can utilize different components of the optical signal such as intensity based, interferometric, polarization, spectroscopic, pulse shape or arrival time based, giving rise to a large number of different sensor designs.  These differences may arise in the physical structures employed, in the optical source or detection systems, in the signal demodulation systems, or in new combinations of these.  Progress in photonic sensor designs and applications continues at a fast pace with new types of optical fibers - photonic band gap fibers (PBG), microstructure optical fibers (MOF), random hole optical fibers (RHOF); and hybrid ordered random hole optical fibers (HORHOF); higher resolution, lower cost, and or expanded detection range capability for sources and detection schemes; and new signal demodulation algorithm designs. Within this rapidly advancing field, this special issue focuses on photonic sensors for chemical, biological and nuclear agent detection.  I hope that this special issue will give the reader a broad overview of some of the exciting areas of photonic sensor research with this collection of innovative research articles.   


fiber optic sensor; photonic sensor; nuclear detection; chemical detection; biological detection


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All papers should be submitted to sensors@mdpi.org with copy to the guest editors. To be published continuously until the deadline and papers will be listed together at the special websites.

Please visit the instructions for authors at http://www.mdpi.org/sensors/publguid.htm before submitting a paper. Open Access publication fees are 1050 CHF per paper. English correction fees (250 CHF) will be added in certain cases (1300 CHF per paper for those papers that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.).

Published Paper

Bassam Alfeeli 1,2*, Gary Pickrell 1,2, Marc A. Garland 3 and Anbo Wang 2
1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA; E-mail: alfeeli@vt.edu; pickrell@vt.edu.
2 Virginia Tech Center for Photonics Technology, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA; E-mail: awang@vt.edu.
3 Nuclear Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN 37831, USA; E-mail: garlandma@ornl.gov.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed
Received: 29 March 2007 / Accepted: 22 May 2007 / Published: 24 May 2007
Full Paper: Behavior of Random Hole Optical Fibers under Gamma Ray Irradiation and Its Potential Use in Radiation Sensing Applications
Sensors 2007, 7, 676-688 (PDF format, 712 K)

Cicero Martelli 1,2,3*, John Canning 1,3, Martin Kristensen 3 and Nathaniel Groothoff 1,4
1 School of Chemistry & Optical Fibre Technology Centre, University of Sydney, 206 National Innovation Centre, ATP, Sydney, NSW 1430, Australia
2 School of Electrical and Information Engineering, University of Sydney, NSW 2006
3 Department of Physics and Astronomy and Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), University of Aarhus, Ny Munkegade, Building 1520, DK-8000 Århus C, Denmark
E-mail: c.martelli@oftc.usyd.edu.au, j.canning@oftc.usyd.edu.au, mk@inano.dk
4 School of Physics, University of Sydney, NSW 2006)
E-mail: n.groothoff@oftc.usyd.edu.au
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 September 2007  / Accepted: 22 October 2007 / Published: 30 October 2007

Communication: Refractive Index Measurement within a Photonic Crystal Fibre Based on Short Wavelength Diffraction
Sensors 2007, 7, 2492-2498 (PDF format, 285 K)

Vittorio M. N. Passaro 1,*, Francesco Dell’Olio 1 and Francesco De Leonardis 2
1 Photonics Research Group, Dipartimento di Elettrotecnica ed Elettronica, Politecnico di Bari, via Edoardo Orabona n. 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
* E-mail: passaro@deemail.poliba.it, URL page: http://dee.poliba.it/photonicsgroup
2 Photonics Research Group, Dipartimento di Ingegneria dell’Ambiente e per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile, Politecnico di Bari, viale del Turismo n. 8, 74100 Taranto, Italy
Received: 22 October 2007 / Accepted: 14 November 2007 / Published: 15 November 2007

Full Research Paper: Ammonia Optical Sensing by Microring Resonators
Sensors 2007, 7, 2741-2749 (PDF format, 529 K)

Nadezhda V. Kulagina, George P. Anderson, Frances S. Ligler, Kara M. Shaffer, and Chris Rowe Taitt *
Center for Bio/Molecular Science & Engineering, Code 6900, Naval Research Laboratory, 4555 Overlook Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20375
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. E-Mail: chris.taitt@nrl.navy.mil
Received: 24 October 2007 / Accepted: 14 November 2007 / Published: 16 November 2007
Full Research Paper: Antimicrobial Peptides: New Recognition Molecules for Detecting Botulinum Toxins
Sensors 2007, 7, 2808-2824  (PDF format,  460 K)

Mahmoud El-Sherif, Lalitkumar Bansal, and Jianming Yuan
Photonics Laboratories, Inc., Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed. E-Mail: melsherif@photonicslabs.com
Received: 2 October 2007 / Accepted: 29 November 2007 / Published: 4 December 2007

Full Research Paper: Fiber Optic Sensors For Detection of Toxic and Biological Threats
Sensors 2007, 7, 3100-3118 (PDF format, 604 K)

Jaw-Luen Tang 1,* and Jien-Neng Wang 2
1 Department of Physics, National Chung Cheng University, 168 University Road, Chia-Yi 621, Taiwan. TEL: +886-5-272-0586, FAX +886-5-272-0587.
E-mail: phyjlt@ccu.edu.tw.
2 Department of Construction Engineering, National Yunlin University of Science and Technology, Yun-Lin 640, Taiwan. TEL: +886-5-534-2601-4723, FAX +886-5-531-2049.
E-mail: wangjn@yuntech.edu.tw
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 November 2007 / Accepted: 4 January 2008 / Published: 10 January 2008

Full Research Paper: Chemical Sensing Sensitivity of Long-period Grating Sensor Enhanced by Colloidal Gold Nanoparticles
Sensors 2008, 8, 171-184 (PDF format, 385 K)

Cesar Elosua 1,*, Candido Bariain 1, Ignacio R. Matias 1, Antonio Rodriguez 2, Enriquie Colacio 2, Alfonso Salinas-Castillo 3, Antonio Segura-Carretero 3
and Alberto Fernandez-Gutiérrez 3

1 Department of Electric and Electronic Engineering, Universidad Pública de Navarra, Campus Arrosadía s/n, E-31006 Pamplona, Spain.
E-mail: cesar.elosua@unavarra.es; cba@unavarra.es; natxo@unavarra.es
2 Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Universidad de Granada, Campus Fuentenueva s/n, E-18071 Granada, Spain.
E-mail: agraciar@ugr.es; ecolacio@ugr.es
3 Department of Analytical Chemistry, Universidad de Granada, Campus Fuentenueva s/n, E-18071 Granada, Spain.
E-mail: alfonsosalinas@yahoo.es; ansegura@ugr; albertof@ugr.es
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; email: cesar.elosua@unavarra.es; Phone: +34 948169382
Received: 26 December 2007 / Accepted: 4 February 2008 / Published: 
8 February 2008
Full Research Paper: Pyridine Vapors Detection by an Optical Fibre Sensor
Sensors 2008, 8, 847-859 (PDF format, 395 K)

Open Access
Christopher K.Y. Leung, Kai Tai Wan * and Liquan Chen
Department of Civil Engineering, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-mail: cetai@ust.hk.
Received: 29 January 2008 / Accepted: 17 March 2008 / Published: 20 March 2008
Full Research Paper: A Novel Optical Fiber Sensor for Steel Corrosion in Concrete Structures
Sensors 2008, 8, 1960-1976 (PDF format 179 K)

Open Access
Martina O’Toole and Dermot Diamond *
Adaptive Sensors Group, National Centre for Sensor Research, School of Chemical Sciences, Dublin City University, Dublin 9; E-mails: martina.otoole@dcu.ie; dermot.diamond@dcu.ie
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 October 2007 / Accepted: 31 March 2008 / Published: 7 April 2008

Review: Absorbance Based Light Emitting Diode Optical Sensors and Sensing Devices
Sensors 2008, 8, 2453-2479 (PDF format, 508 K)


Mr. Matthias Burkhalter
Assistant Editor
MDPI Center - Sensors Office
Kandererstrasse 25 - CH-4057 Basel / Switzerland
E-mail: sensors@mdpi.org
Tel +41 61 683 7734, Fax +41 61 302 8918

Sensors Journal Special Issues

MDPI - Matthias Burkhalter - 16 July 2008

* Dr. Pickrell is the Associate Director of the Center for Photonics Technology in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Virginia Tech, one of the largest fiber optic sensor groups in the world, primarily dedicated to harsh environment sensor development.  He is also an Assistant Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department, and the Director of the Nano-Biomaterials Research Laboratory. He is a 2004 winner of the R&D 100 award for one of the top products developed worldwide (a fiber optic sensor suite for down-hole oil measurements); winner of the Outstanding Assistant Professor award; has served on numerous program organizing committees such as Optics East Sensor for Harsh Environments (2004, 2005 and 2006), Fiber Optic Sensor Technology and Applications (2005 and 2006), IEEE Sensor Conference (2005 and 2006), and the 8th symposium on Temperature Measurement and Application; he has chaired many sessions at international conferences on sensors; has over 100 publications and 11 patents issued; and has been an invited participant and speaker at many conferences and at NSF, USGS, and DOE workshops

** Dr. Teng Ooi is employed by the Missile Defense Agency.  He has been awarded numerous honors and awards from NASA, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, US Navy, and Missile Defense Agency for his engineering achievements to include the Defense Certificate of Recognition for Acquisition Innovation, presented by the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics).  His publications credits include over 50 refereed journals and conference proceedings and he is a technical reviewer for the Journal of Composites Science and Technology.  He has performed various research programs and teaching duties at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Civil and Environmental Engineering Departments.  Teng also holds professorship positions at Stanford University, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and is a visiting scholar at UCLA.  Furthermore, he was a U.S. Air Force Civil Engineering Reservist and currently is a Liaison Officer (Naval Research and Development) in the US Naval Reserve, Office of Naval Research (ONR)/Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Science and Technology 102, Washington, DC.  Among his other honors are: Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (2006-2009), Who’s Who in the World (2008), Who’s Who in America (2007-2008), The Metropolitan Who’s Who in Engineering Education (2005), The Contemporary Who’s Who of Professionals (2004-2005), Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, and Order of the Engineer.