, Volume 391, Issue 7, pp 2557-2576
Date: 28 Jun 2008

Luminescence-based methods for sensing and detection of explosives

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Abstract

The detection of explosives and related compounds is important in both forensic and environmental applications. Luminescence-based methods have been widely used for detecting explosives and their degradation products in complex matrices. Direct detection methods utilize the inherent fluorescence of explosive molecules or the luminescence generated from chemical reactions. Direct detection methods include high-energy excitation techniques such as gamma-ray and x-ray fluorescence, detection of decomposition products by fluorescence or chemiluminescence, and detection following reduction to amines or another reaction to produce fluorescent products from the explosive. Indirect detection methods utilize the interference caused by the presence of explosive compounds with traditional processes of fluorescence and fluorescence quenching. Indirect detection methods include quenching of solution-phase, immobilized, and solid-state fluorophores, displacement of fluorophores, fluorescence immunoassay, and reactions that produce fluorescent products other than the explosive. A comprehensive review of these methods is presented.