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Proceedings Paper

FT-IR microspectroscopy of RDX in clay soils
Author(s): Yleana M. Colon; Carmen M. Ramos; Samuel P. Hernandez; Miguel A. Munoz; Nairmen Mina
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Paper Abstract

The detection of trace level of explosives is a challenging field of great importance to national security and landmine detection. Chemical signatures of buried landmines are in a very complex environment. External physical conditions that affect explosive vapors and particles in soil can affect the explosive chemical signature. The chemical spectroscopic signature of the RDX in clay soil environments has been investigated by means of reflectance FT-IR microspectroscopy. The soil obtained from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez was treated using the textural mechanical method in order to separate the clay from all the other components in the soil. B3LYP/6-311G** calculations performed on the low energy conformers of RDX helped to determine its most stable conformations, their symmetry, and vibrational spectra. The FT-IR technique confirmed the existence of two different RDX solid phases, known as the α-RDX and β-RDX, which have different symmetries and revealed significant differences in their spectra. The IR microspectroscopic study showed that the RDX-Clay mineral complex and its interactions can be detected using the FT-IR technique at a low concentration of 1000 part-per-millions. Variations in the clay's pH revealed changes in the RDX-Clay complex spectroscopic signature. These results also indicate that the interaction between the RDX and the clay minerals affects mainly the ring breathing, the C-N vibrations and the NO2 groups of the explosive molecules. It is suggested that the electron donor nitrogen atoms from RDX are interacting with the electron acceptor oxygen atoms of the edge sites of the clay's surface.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 June 2005
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 5794, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets X, (10 June 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.602771
Show Author Affiliations
Yleana M. Colon, Univ. of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (United States)
Carmen M. Ramos, Univ. of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (United States)
Samuel P. Hernandez, Univ. of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (United States)
Miguel A. Munoz, Univ. of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (United States)
Nairmen Mina, Univ. of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5794:
Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets X
Russell S. Harmon; J. Thomas Broach; John H. Holloway, Editor(s)

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