Dr Georgios Tsiminis was invited to represent the University of Adelaide at the Science Teachers Association of South Australia Annual Conference and Expo 2015 as an invited Cutting Edge Speaker. Hosted at Brighton Secondary School with an audience of Science teachers from around South Australia.
The talk was titled “Listening to molecules using light: optical detection of chemicals” and co-authors include Dr Joanna Brooks (ARC Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing at the Australian National University), Nigel Spooner (IPAS), Tanya Monro (UniSA/CNBP), Fenghong Chu (Shanghai University of Electric Power).
The talk gave an overview of how light can be used as a tool for detecting chemicals in complex samples and focused on using optical fibres as photonic tools for chemical sensing by Raman spectroscopy. Two examples were given, measuring vitamin B12 in the scope of exploring vitamin B12 deficiency as a modifiable risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s; and explosives detection, where Raman spectroscopy was performed using microstructtured suspended core optical fibres to enhance the signal and enable the detection of fundamentally different explosives (TNT and hydrogen peroxide) using the same sensor at quantities of less than a microgram. Both examples highlight the great flexibility of photonic technologies for chemical sensing and establish the cross-disciplinary nature of research undertaken within the CNBP, IPAS and the University of Adelaide.