O. Primera-Pedrozo, L. Pacheco‐Londoño, Luis F. De la Torre-Quintana
Sep 15, 2004
Journal name not available for this finding
Explosives detection is a very important task for National Security. The formidable task includes development of new probes and methods for detection of concealed explosives which is of utmost priority to Homeland Security and other security enforcing federal agencies. Here we report on the detection of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) on metallic surfaces using a Fiber Optic Coupled FTIR method. FT-IR spectroscopy is well suited to be used outside the confinement of the sample compartment, provided the excitation source and the reflected light can be transported to the interferometer. Fiber optic cables that transmit in the Mid-IR range have made this possible by allowing the development of a range of spectroscopic probes for in situ analysis. In our study we used a specially designed sampling probe that operates at the grazing-angle to detect and to quantify μg/cm2 levels of explosives on stainless steel. Calibration curves were prepared using stainless steel plates, 3 inches wide x 6 inches long. The samples were deposited on the surface using a smearing method. To carry out the experiments, TATP was synthesized in the laboratory. For the calibration curves TATP was dissolved in dichloromethane. The standard solutions (20) μL were transferred on the plates resulting in surface mass concentrations of TATP that ranged from 8 to 150 μg/cm2. The data was analyzed using Chemometrics routines and Discriminant Analysis algorithms. In particular, multivariate Partial Least Squares (PLS) was used to determine the most significant peak for the analysis. In other experiments done with stainless steel plates coated with 150 μg/cm2 TATP, spectra were recorded every 27 seconds. For this concentration TATP sublimates to surface concentrations below detection in 800 s.