Stand-off detection of trace explosives via resonant infrared photothermal imaging

Furstenberg, R.; Kendziora, C. A.; Stepnowski, J.; Stepnowski, S. V.; Rake, M.; Papantonakis, M. R.; Nguyen, V.; Hubler, G. K.; McGill, R. A.
December 2008
Applied Physics Letters;12/1/2008, Vol. 93 Issue 22, p224103
Academic Journal
We describe a technique for rapid stand-off detection of trace explosives and other analytes of interest. An infrared (IR) laser is directed to a surface of interest, which is viewed using a thermal imager. Resonant absorption by the analyte at specific IR wavelengths selectively heats the analyte, providing a thermal contrast with the substrate. The concept is demonstrated using trinitrotoluene and cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine on transparent, absorbing, and reflecting substrates. Trace explosives have been detected from particles as small as 10 μm.


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