Table of Contents
International Journal of Spectroscopy
Volume 2012, Article ID 297056, 11 pages
Research Article

Demonstrated Wavelength Portability of Raman Reference Data for Explosives and Chemical Detection

1Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA 99354, USA
2Dunham Research, 3251 Kemptown Church Road, Monrovia, MD 21770, USA

Received 18 February 2012; Revised 13 April 2012; Accepted 17 April 2012

Academic Editor: Augustus Way Fountain

Copyright © 2012 Timothy J. Johnson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


As Raman spectroscopy continues to evolve, questions arise as to the portability of Raman data: dispersive versus Fourier transform, wavelength calibration, intensity calibration, and in particular the frequency of the excitation laser. While concerns about fluorescence arise in the visible or ultraviolet, most modern (portable) systems use near-infrared excitation lasers, and many of these are relatively close in wavelength. We have investigated the possibility of porting reference data sets from one NIR wavelength system to another: We have constructed a reference library consisting of 145 spectra, including 20 explosives, as well as sundry other compounds and materials using a 1064 nm spectrometer. These data were used as a reference library to evaluate the same 145 compounds whose experimental spectra were recorded using a second 785 nm spectrometer. In 128 cases of 145 (or 88.3% including 20/20 for the explosives), the compounds were correctly identified with a mean “hit score” of 954 of 1000. Adding in criteria for when to declare a correct match versus when to declare uncertainty, the approach was able to correctly categorize 134 out of 145 spectra, giving a 92.4% accuracy. For the few that were incorrectly identified, either the matched spectra were spectroscopically similar to the target or the 785 nm signal was degraded due to fluorescence. The results indicate that imported data recorded at a different NIR wavelength can be successfully used as reference libraries, but key issues must be addressed: the reference data must be of equal or higher resolution than the resolution of the current sensor, the systems require rigorous wavelength calibration, and wavelength-dependent intensity response should be accounted for in the different systems.