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Proceedings Paper

Rapid screening and identification of improvised explosive and hazardous precursor materials by Raman spectroscopy
Author(s): Robert J. Stokes; W. Ewen Smith; Brian Foulger; Colin Lewis
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Paper Abstract

A low cost technique is reported for the rapid screening of containers for materials that potentially could be used for terrorist activities. For peroxide based samples it is demonstrated that full characterisation can be achieved in a continuous curve fitting monitoring mode acquiring up to 10 spectra per second. This clearly demonstrates the potential for a Raman based method to be incorporated into a check-point whilst retaining fast throughput. A number of precursor compounds to nerve agents and peroxide and nitrate based improvised explosive materials have been studied. The potential strengths and weaknesses of using Raman for multiple target identification are discussed with regard to the common vibrations associated with each group of agents. Within this context we also introduce the use of fast Raman line mapping into the trace analysis of multiple component targets. The method presented is suited to volatile or light sensitive samples (such as derived peroxides) and can be employed on a variety of surfaces. As speed and throughput are traded against spectral bandwidth categorising threat compounds into groups based on common functionalities allows the full potential for multiplexed targeting to be realised.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 October 2008
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7119, Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism and Crime Fighting IV, 71190I (3 October 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.800280
Show Author Affiliations
Robert J. Stokes, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
W. Ewen Smith, Univ. of Strathclyde (United Kingdom)
Brian Foulger, Ministry of Defence SA/SD (United Kingdom)
Colin Lewis, Ministry of Defence SA/SD (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7119:
Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism and Crime Fighting IV
Gari Owen, Editor(s)

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