Research Article | Open Access
E. Roland Menzel, Laird W. Menzel, Jake R. Schwierking, "A Photoluminescence-Based Field Method for Detection of Traces of Explosives", The Scientific World Journal, vol. 4, Article ID 702407, 11 pages, 2004. https://doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2004.126
A Photoluminescence-Based Field Method for Detection of Traces of Explosives
We report a photoluminescence-based field method for detecting traces of explosives. In its standard version, the method utilizes a commercially available color spot test kit for treating explosive traces on filter paper after swabbing. The colored products are fluorescent under illumination with a laser that operates on three C-size flashlight batteries and delivers light at 532 nm. In the fluorescence detection mode, by visual inspection, the typical sensitivity gain is a factor of 100. The method is applicable to a wide variety of explosives. In its time-resolved version, intended for in situ work, explosives are tagged with europium complexes. Instrumentation-wise, the time-resolved detection, again visual, can be accomplished in facile fashion. The europium luminescence excitation utilizes a laser operating at 355 nm. We demonstrate the feasibility of CdSe quantum dot sensitization of europium luminescence for time-resolved purposes. This would allow the use of the above 532 nm laser.