Abstract

Trace explosive residues are measured in real time by surface laser photofragmentation–fragment detection (SPF–FD) spectroscopy at ambient conditions. A 248-nm laser photofragments the target residue on a substrate, and a 226-nm laser ionizes the resulting NO fragment by resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization by means of its AX (0, 0) transitions near 226 nm. We tested two probes on selected explosives and modeled their electric field in the presence of a substrate with an ion optics simulation program. The limits of detection range from 1 to 15 ng/cm2 (signal-to-noise ratio of 3) at 1 atm and 298 K and depend on the electrode orientation and mechanism for NO formation.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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