The Scientific World Journal

The Scientific World Journal / 2004 / Article

Research Article | Open Access

Volume 4 |Article ID 702407 |

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.

A Photoluminescence-Based Field Method for Detection of Traces of Explosives

Received23 Jun 2004
Revised11 Aug 2004
Accepted12 Aug 2004


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.

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