Ultraviolet resonance Raman enhancements in the detection of explosives
Short, Billy Joe
Smith, Craig F.
Carter, J. Chance
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Raman-based spectroscopy is potentially militarily useful for standoff detection of high explosives. Normal (non-resonance) and resonance Raman spectroscopies are both light scattering techniques that use a laser to measure the vibrational spectrum of a sample. In resonance Raman, the laser is tuned to match the wavelength of a strong electronic absorbance in the molecule of interest, whereas, in normal Raman the laser is not tuned to any strong electronic absorbance bands. The selection of appropriate excitation wavelengths in resonance Raman can result in a dramatic increase in the Raman scattering efficiency of select band(s) associated with the electronic transition. Other than the excitation wavelength, however, resonance Raman is performed experimentally the same as normal Raman. In these studies, normal and resonance Raman spectral signatures of select solid high explosive (HE) samples and explosive precursors were collected at 785 nm, 244 nm and 229 nm. Solutions of PETN, TNT, and explosive precursors (DNT & PNT) in acetonitrile solvent as an internal Raman standard were quantitatively evaluated using ultraviolet resonance Raman (UVRR) microscopy and normal Raman spectroscopy as a function of power and select excitation wavelengths. Use of an internal standard allowed resonance enhancements to be estimated at 229 nm and 244 nm. Investigations demonstrated that UVRR provided ~2000-fold enhancement at 244 nm and ~800-fold improvement at 229 nm while PETN showed a maximum of ~25-fold at 244 nm and ~190-fold enhancement at 229 nm solely from resonance effects when compared to normal Raman measurements. In addition to the observed resonance enhancements, additional Raman signal enhancements are obtained with ultraviolet excitation (i.e., Raman scattering scales as !4 for measurements based on scattered photons). A model, based partly on the resonance Raman enhancement results for HE solutions, is presented for estimating Raman enhancements for solid HE samples.
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