A new plunger device has been designed and built to measure the lifetimes of unbound states in exotic nuclei beyond the proton drip-line. The device has been designed to work in both vacuum and dilute-gas environments made possible through the introduction of a low-voltage stepping motor. DPUNS will be used in conjunction with the gas-filled separator RITU and the vacuum separator MARA at the accelerator laboratory of the University of Jyvaskyla, Finland, to measure the lifetimes of excited states with low population cross-sections. This is achieved by eliminating the need for a carbon foil to isolate the helium gas of RITU from the beam line thus reducing the background from beam-foil reactions. The inclusion of a high-sampling rate data acquisition card increases further the sensitivity of the device. The plunger will be used to address many key facets of nuclear structure physics with particular emphasis on the effect of deformation on proton emission rates. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.