"Encrypted Nanoparticles for Security, Counterindustrial Espionage, and Counterfeiting,"
Ph.D. Dissertation, Nuclear Engineering, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX (2013).
Acts of terrorism and the use of explosives raise concerns about
what can be done to prevent such atrocities. From stopping such a
threat to preventing the illicit counterfeiting and smuggling of
sensitive and proprietary goods, identification taggant technology
can be applied to identify and interdict materials of a dubious
nature. This cost effective approach to tag and track materials
will find application in both the government and private sectors,
particularly in the prevention of corporate espionage.
Chemical based taggants have a proven track record of
effectiveness. Inclusion of volatile chemicals in explosives
affords airport baggage screeners a greater probability of
detection. This concept was extended to include nuclear properties
as a possible taggant method.
A taggant system was created based on the modification of the
natural isotopic vector of cadmium and tellurium to create
artificial, unique, and robust identification capabilities. A proof
of concept trial was undertaken to ascertain the effectiveness,
reliability, and integrity of a system. Stable isotopes were mixed
in various combinations to alter the isotopic vector and then
neutron activation analysis techniques were used to evaluate the
quality of the taggants. Two different neutron activation analysis
facilities of differing capabilities were employed to test the
limitations of the method in detection of trace amounts of taggant
Associated Project(s):Encrypted Nanoparticles for Security, Counterindustrial Espionage, and Counterfeiting