4 May 2007 Water security: continuous monitoring of water distribution systems for chemical agents by SERS
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Ensuring safe water supplies requires continuous monitoring for potential poisons and portable analyzers to map distribution in the event of an attack. In the case of chemical warfare agents (CWAs) analyzers are needed that have sufficient sensitivity (part-per-billion), selectivity (differentiate the CWA from its hydrolysis products), and speed (less than 10 minutes) to be of value. We have been investigating the ability of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to meet these requirements by detecting CWAs and their hydrolysis products 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. Recently, we have developed a simple sampling device designed to optimize the interaction of the target molecules with the SERS-active material with the goal of increasing sensitivity and decreasing sampling times. This sampling device employs a syringe to draw the water sample containing the analyte into a capillary filled with the SERS-active material. Recently we used such SERS-active capillaries to measure 1 ppb cyanide in water. Here we extend these measurements to nerve agent hydrolysis products using a portable Raman analyzer.
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Frank Inscore, Chetan Shende, Atanu Sengupta, and Stuart Farquharson "Water security: continuous monitoring of water distribution systems for chemical agents by SERS", Proc. SPIE 6540, Optics and Photonics in Global Homeland Security III, 654009 (4 May 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.712649; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.712649

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