Abstract

We investigate the remote detection of explosives via a technique that vaporizes and photodissociates the condensed-phase material and detects the resulting vibrationally excited NO fragments via laser- induced fluorescence. The technique utilizes a single 7ns pulse of a tunable laser near 236.2nm to perform these multiple processes. The resulting blue-shifted fluorescence (226nm) is detected using a photomultiplier and narrowband filter that strongly block the scatter of the pump laser off the solid media while passing the shorter wavelength photons. Various nitro-bearing compounds, including 2,6-dinitrotoluene (DNT), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), and hexahydro-1,3,5- trinitro-1,3,5-triazine (RDX) were detected with a signal-to-noise of 25dB. The effects of laser fluence, wavelength, and sample morphology were examined.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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