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Proceedings Paper

SAW/GC detection of taggants and other volatile compounds associated with contraband materials
Author(s): Edward J. Staples; Gary W. Watson; David S. McGuirre; Dudley Williams
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Paper Abstract

Research on a Surface Acoustic Wave (SAW) Gas Chromatography (GC) non-intrusive inspection system has demonstrated the ability to identify and quantify the presence of non- volatile contraband vapors in less than 10 seconds. The technique can be used to detect volatile compounds associated with the contraband compound as well. This is important because volatile taggants in explosives make them easy to detect and volatile organic compounds are routinely used in the manufacturing of illicit drugs. The results of tests with volatile organic compounds associated with drugs of abuse, and volatile taggants for explosives are presented. The latter materials are particularly useful in detecting plastic explosives and results for Semtex and C-4 spiked with a taggant show that detectability is improved. Similar testing protocols and methods for drugs, currency, organo-phosphate agents, and taggant compounds have also been demonstrated. The SAW/GC method needs no high voltages, utilizes essentially all solid state devices, and involves no radioactive or hazardous materials SAW detection systems have demonstrated dynamic ranges greater than 1,000,000 and the ability to selectively screen for vapors from explosive and drugs of abuse at the part per billion level with little or no interference. Most important for law-enforcement, SAW/GC devices can be produced in small packages at low cost.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 1997
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 2937, Chemistry- and Biology-Based Technologies for Contraband Detection, (17 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.266787
Show Author Affiliations
Edward J. Staples, Electronic Sensor Technology, Inc. (United States)
Gary W. Watson, Electronic Sensor Technology, Inc. (United States)
David S. McGuirre, Electronic Sensor Technology, Inc. (United States)
Dudley Williams, Electronic Sensor Technology, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2937:
Chemistry- and Biology-Based Technologies for Contraband Detection
Pierre Pilon; Steve Burmeister, Editor(s)

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