Producing Known Quantities of RDX for LIBS Limit of Detection Study

Report No. ARL-TR-6002
Authors: Frank C. De Lucia, Jr.
Date/Pages: May 2012; 18 pages
Abstract: Laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an optical elemental analysis technique that has shown promise for detecting trace amounts of explosive residue. The need to quantify the detection limits for explosives using LIBS is an important step for determining the effectiveness of the LIBS technique, and requires the ability to produce known amounts of explosives reproducibly. To that end, we have employed an inkjet printing system to produce samples with a range of known amounts of trace explosives (sub 100 nanograms.) The detection limits were determined based on the relationship between the LIBS spectral data and the mass of the explosive. Based on this proof of principle study, preliminary detection limit results were found to be ~1.5 and ~0.1 ng for two different laser energies using this particular experimental configuration.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: May 1, 2012