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Trace detection of nitrogen-based explosives with UV-PLF

: Guenther, J.-U.; Bohling, C.; Mordmueller, M.; Schade, W.


Lewis, C. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Optics and photonics for counterterrorism and crime fighting VI and optical materials in defence systems technology VII : 20 - 23 September 2010, Toulouse
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2010 (Proceedings of SPIE 7838)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-8356-0
Paper 783807
Conference "Optics and Photonics for Counterterrorism and Crime Fighting" <6, 2010, Toulouse>
Conference "Optical Materials in Defence Systems Technology" <7, 2010, Toulouse>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer HHI ()

Trace detection of energetic materials is a method to screen personnel, packages and other items for concealed explosives. It is likely, that a person who carries explosives will contaminate himself and the package with the explosive. We present first results on the development of a compact detector combining Pulsed Laser Fragmentation (PLF) with fragments detection. A passively q-switched UV microchip laser photofragments surface contaminations. The concentration ratio of the fragments NO and NO2 is a sufficient indicator for the presence of nitrogen-based explosives. For TNT, the results suggest, that a surface density as small as a few ng/cm2 can be reliably detected.