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Proceedings Paper

Fourier transform microwave spectroscopy of chemical-warfare agents and their synthetic precursors
Author(s): Angela R. Hight Walker; Richard D. Suenram; Alan C. Samuels; James O. Jensen; Dwight L. Woolard; W. Wiebach
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Paper Abstract

Fourier-transform microwave (FTMW) spectroscopy is an established is an established technique for observing the rotational spectra of molecules and complexes in molecular beams. Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are adapting this measurement technology for applications in analytical chemistry. Presently, FTMW spectroscopy is being used to investigate chemical-warfare agents and their synthetic precursors. A FTMW spectroscopy facility has been established at a surety laboratory at the Edgewood Research, Development, and Engineering Center, where the capabilities exist for handling these deadly warfare agents. Here, the rotational spectra of Sarin, Soman and DF have been observed and assigned. Also, microwave spectroscopic studies of less toxic precursors such as pinacolyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and thiodiglycol have been carried out at NIST. Tests will be undertaken to assess the potential of using FTMW spectroscopy for detecting trace amounts of chemical-warfare agents and precursors in air. A database of rotational transition frequencies is being compiled for use in conjunction with a FTMW spectrometer to unambiguously detect and monitor chemical weapons. The sensitivity and resolution of FTMW spectroscopy of FTMW spectroscopy suggest that the technique may offer real-time, unequivocal identification of chemical-warfare agents at trace vapor concentrations in air.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 January 1999
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3533, Air Monitoring and Detection of Chemical and Biological Agents, (18 January 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.336849
Show Author Affiliations
Angela R. Hight Walker, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Richard D. Suenram, National Institute of Standards and Technology (United States)
Alan C. Samuels, U.S. Army Edgewood Research, Development, and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
James O. Jensen, U.S. Army Edgewood Research, Development, and Engineering Ctr. (United States)
Dwight L. Woolard, Army Research Lab. (United States)
W. Wiebach, Army Research Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3533:
Air Monitoring and Detection of Chemical and Biological Agents
Joseph Leonelli; Mark L.G. Althouse, Editor(s)

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