Detection of explosive vapour using surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy
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- Fang, X. & Ahmad, S.R. Appl. Phys. B (2009) 97: 723. doi:10.1007/s00340-009-3644-3
A commercially available nano-structured gold substrate was used for activating surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS). Raman spectra of the vapour of explosive material, triacetonetriperoxide (TATP), at trace concentrations produced from adsorbed molecules on such surfaces have been studied. Prominent Raman lines of the explosive molecular species were recorded at a sample temperature of ∼35°C, which is near to human body temperature. For this study, the concentration of the adsorbed TATP molecules on the nano-structured surface was varied by heating the sample to different temperatures and exposing the substrate to the sample vapour for different lengths of time. The intensities of the Raman lines have been found to increase with the increase in temperature and also with the increase in the duration of exposure for a fixed temperature. However, as expected, the Raman intensities have been found to saturate at higher temperatures and longer exposures. These saturation effects of the strengths of the Raman lines in the SERS of TATP vapour have been investigated in this paper. The results indicate that the optimisation for vapour deposition on the surface could be a crucial factor for any quantitative estimate of the concentration of the molecular species adsorbed on the nano-structured substrates.