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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: Joseph N. Mait
  • Vol. 49, Iss. 23 — Aug. 10, 2010
  • pp: 4367–4371

Challenge of false alarms in nitroaromatic explosive detection—a detection device based on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

Hainer Wackerbarth, Lars Gundrum, Christian Salb, Konstantin Christou, and Wolfgang Viöl  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 49, Issue 23, pp. 4367-4371 (2010)

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A challenge in the detection of explosives is the differentiation between explosives and contaminants. Synthetic musk-containing perfumes can cause false alarms, as these perfumes are nitroaromatic compounds, which can be mistaken for trinitro toluene (TNT) by some detectors. We present a detection principle based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). A stream of the airborne compounds is focused and resublimated on a cooled nanostructured gold surface. We recorded high-resolution SERS spectra of TNT, musk xylene, and musk ketone. The nitroaromatic compounds can be identified unambiguously by their SERS spectra. Even the dominant bands containing nitro-group scissoring and symmetric stretching modes are significantly shifted by the difference in molecular structure.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(300.6450) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, Raman
(240.6695) Optics at surfaces : Surface-enhanced Raman scattering

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: May 6, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: June 19, 2010
Published: August 4, 2010

Hainer Wackerbarth, Lars Gundrum, Christian Salb, Konstantin Christou, and Wolfgang Viöl, "Challenge of false alarms in nitroaromatic explosive detection—a detection device based on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy," Appl. Opt. 49, 4367-4371 (2010)

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