We measured the 229 nm absolute ultraviolet (UV) Raman cross-sections of the explosives trinitrotoluene (TNT), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine (RDX), the chemically related nitroamine explosive HMX, and ammonium nitrate in solution. The 229 nm Raman cross-sections are 1000-fold greater than those excited in the near-infrared and visible spectral regions. Deep UV resonance Raman spectroscopy enables detection of explosives at parts-per-billion (ppb) concentrations and may prove useful for stand-off spectroscopic detection of explosives.

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