As commercial explosives become more difficult to obtain, terrorists turn to producing homemade explosives (HMEs). HMEs are typically produced in makeshift labs using materials that can be easily obtained by the public. Because HMEs are synthesized under improvised conditions, the product typically contains impurities, many of which color the sample and produce fluorescence so they cannot be analyzed using previous generation 785 nm Raman-based systems. Handheld Raman using 1064 nm excitation reduces fluorescence interference and allows for many of these HMEs to be easily identified in the field with little or no sample preparation.
CHEMICAL DETECTION IN THE FIELD
A variety of homemade and commercially available explosives were measured with a handheld Rigaku 1064 nm Raman analyzer. The 1064 nm handheld Raman has the ability to obtain quality spectra and distinguish the explosive materials and their precursors from other materials.
MINIMIZE SAMPLE INTERFERENCE WHILE MAXIMIZING EFFICIENCY
A feature found in the most common HMEs is color, due to impurities that are present in the sample, which cause fluorescence interference when using a Raman analyzer with 785 nm excitation. The Rigaku handheld Raman analyzer uses a 1064 nm longer excitation wavelength laser, and is able to measure a wider range of materials. Figures 1-3 demonstrates the comparison of spectra using a 785 nm handheld Raman analyzer to the 1064 nm of the Rigaku ResQ analyzer. The Rigaku portfolio of handheld Raman analyzers has the ability to measure the colored HMEs without fluorescence interference.
The portfolio of handheld Rigaku Raman analyzers has the ability to identify commercial and HMEs, as well as precursors. Because of its use of 1064 nm laser excitation, it can measure colored materials without fluorescence interference.