Detection of Homemade Explosives using Handheld Raman
8 December 2015

As commercial explosives become more difficult to obtain, terrorists turn to producing homemade explosives (HMEs). HMEs are typically produced in makeshift labs using materials that can be easily obtained by the public. Because HMEs are synthesized under improvised conditions, the product typically contains impurities, many of which color the sample and produce fluorescence so they cannot be analyzed using previous generation 785nm Raman-based systems. Handheld Raman using 1064nm excitation reduces fluorescence interference and allows for many of these HMEs to be easily identified in the field with little or no sample preparation. In this application note, variety of homemade and commercially available explosives were measured with a handheld Rigaku Progeny™ ResQ™ 1064nm analyzer.