Surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy for trace-level detection of explosives

S. Botti, L. Cantarini, A. Palucci

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37 Citations (Scopus)


The detection of explosives and their associated compounds for security screening is an active area of research and a wide variety of detection methods are involved in this very challenging area. Surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) spectroscopy is one of the most sensitive tools for the detection of molecules adsorbed on nano-scale roughened metal surface. Moreover, SERS combines high sensitivity with the observation of vibrational spectra of species, giving complete information on themolecular structure of material under study. In this paper, SERS was applied to the detection of very small quantities of explosives adsorbed on industrially made substrates. The spectra were acquired with a compact Raman spectrometer. Usually, a high signal-to-noise (S/N) spectrum, suitable for identification of explosive molecules down to few hundreds of picograms, was achieved within 30 s. Our measurements suggest that it is possible to exploit SERS using a practical detection instrument for routine analysis. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)866 - 869
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Raman Spectroscopy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Spectroscopy
  • Materials Science(all)

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