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30 October 2006 Surface-enhanced Raman spectral analysis of blister agents and their hydrolysis products
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Protection of military personnel and civilians from water supplies poisoned by chemical warfare agents requires an analyzer that has sufficient sensitivity (μg/L), selectivity (differentiate the warfare agents from its hydrolysis products), and speed (less than 10 minutes) to be of value. In an effort to meet these requirements, we have been investigating the ability of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to detect these chemicals in water. The expected success of SERS is based on reported detection of single molecules, the one-to-one relationship between a chemical and its Raman spectrum, and the minimal sample preparation requirements. It is equally important to detect and distinguish the hydrolysis products of these agents to eliminate false-positive responses and evaluate the extent of an attack. Previously, we reported the SER spectra of GA, GB, VX and most of their hydrolysis products, as well as a preliminary study of HD, and its principle hydrolysis product thiodiglycol. Here we expand this study to include half-mustard, its hydrolysis product, 2-hydroxyethyl ethylsulfide, and ethyl ethylsulfide to better characterize the observed SER spectra. We also report the measurement of 10 μg/L of thiodiglycol as we continue to improve sensitivity.
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Frank Inscore and Stuart Farquharson "Surface-enhanced Raman spectral analysis of blister agents and their hydrolysis products", Proc. SPIE 6378, Chemical and Biological Sensors for Industrial and Environmental Monitoring II, 63780X (30 October 2006);

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