Raman Detection of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) Material Fabricated Using Dropon- Demand Inkjet Technology on Several Real World Surfaces

Report No. ARL-RP-0537
Authors: Mikella E Farrell, Ellen L. Holthoff, and Paul M Pellegrino
Date/Pages: September 2015; 18 pages
Abstract: The requirement to detect hazardous materials (i.e., chemical, biological, and explosive) on a host of materials has led to the development of hazard detection systems. These new technologies and their capabilities could have immediate uses for the US military, national security agencies, and environmental response teams in efforts to keep people secure and safe. In particular, due to the increasing use by terrorists, the detection of common explosives and improvised explosive device (IED) materials have motivated research efforts toward detecting trace (i.e., particle level) quantities on multiple commonly encountered surfaces (e.g., textiles, metals, plastics, natural products, and even people). Non-destructive detection techniques can detect trace quantities of explosive materials; however, it can be challenging in the presence of a complex chemical background. One spectroscopic technique gaining increased attention for detection is Raman. One popular explosive precursor material is ammonium nitrate (AN). The material AN has many agricultural applications, however it can also be used in the fabrication of IEDs or homemade explosives (HMEs). In this paper, known amounts of AN will be deposited using an inkjet printer into several different common material surfaces (e.g., wood, human hair, textiles, metals, plastics). The materials are characterized with microscope images and by collecting Raman spectral data. In this report the detection and identification of AN will be demonstrated.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2015