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Real-time detection of concealed chemical hazards under ambient light conditions using Raman spectroscopy

Cletus, Biju, Olds, William J., Fredericks, Peter M., Jaatinen, Esa, & Izake, Emad L. (2013) Real-time detection of concealed chemical hazards under ambient light conditions using Raman spectroscopy. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 58(4), pp. 1008-1014.

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Abstract

Current concerns regarding terrorism and international crime highlight the need for new techniques for detecting unknown and hazardous substances. A novel Raman spectroscopy-based technique, spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS), was recently devised for non-invasively probing the contents of diffusely scattering and opaque containers. Here, we demonstrate a modified portable SORS sensor for detecting concealed substances in-field under different background lighting conditions. Samples including explosive precursors, drugs and an organophosphate insecticide (chemical warfare agent surrogate) were concealed inside diffusely scattering packaging including plastic, paper and cloth. Measurements were carried out under incandescent and fluorescent light as well as under daylight to assess the suitability of the probe for different real-life conditions. In each case, it was possible to identify the substances against their reference Raman spectra in less than one minute. The developed sensor has potential for rapid detection of concealed hazardous substances in airports, mail distribution centers and customs checkpoints.

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ID Code: 50801
Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: forensic science, Raman spectroscopy, non-invasive detection, in-field detection, national security, chemical hazards
DOI: 10.1111/1556-4029.12137
ISSN: 0022-1198
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PHYSICAL SCIENCES (020000) > OPTICAL PHYSICS (020500)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY (030100)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > CHEMICAL SCIENCE (030000) > OTHER CHEMICAL SCIENCES (039900) > Forensic Chemistry (039902)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Chemistry, Physics & Mechanical Engineering
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
Deposited On: 08 Jun 2012 17:11
Last Modified: 19 Aug 2013 14:30

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