A unique scheme has been applied for sensitive remote detection of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) vapor trace amounts at atmospheric pressure and 24 °C. The detection concept is based on a single laser beam inducing a tandem process: photodissociation of TNT vapor followed by highly selective detection of its photofragments vibrationally excited NO, utilizing laser-induced fluorescence with the A2Σ+(v′ = 0) ← X2Π(v″ = 2) transition. A detection sensitivity of at least 8 parts in 109 of TNT vapor with a signal-to-noise ratio of approximately 10 has been experimentally verified for an unfocused ∼5-mJ laser beam, measured at a distance of ∼15 cm from the TNT sample.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: January 18, 2001
Revised Manuscript: June 25, 2001
Published: December 20, 2001
Talya Arusi-Parpar, Dov Heflinger, and Raphael Lavi, "Photodissociation followed by laser-induced fluorescence at atmospheric pressure and 24 °C: a unique scheme for remote detection of explosives," Appl. Opt. 40, 6677-6681 (2001)