4 February 2013 Rapid screening and identification of illicit drugs by IR absorption spectroscopy and gas chromatography
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Abstract
Analytical instruments based on InfraRed Absorption Spectroscopy (IRAS) and Gas Chromatography (GC) are today available only as bench-top instrumentation for forensic labs and bulk analysis. Within the 'DIRAC' project funded by the European Commission, we are developing an advanced portable sensor, that combines miniaturized GC as its key chemical separation tool, and IRAS in a Hollow Fiber (HF) as its key analytical tool, to detect and recognize illicit drugs and key precursors, as bulk and as traces. The HF-IRAS module essentially consists of a broadly tunable External Cavity (EC) Quantum Cascade Laser (QCL), thermo-electrically cooled MCT detectors, and an infrared hollow fiber at controlled temperature. The hollow fiber works as a miniaturized gas cell, that can be connected to the output of the GC column with minimal dead volumes. Indeed, the module has been coupled to GC columns of different internal diameter and stationary phase, and with a Vapour Phase Pre-concentrator (VPC) that selectively traps target chemicals from the air. The presentation will report the results of tests made with amphetamines and precursors, as pure substances, mixtures, and solutions. It will show that the sensor is capable of analyzing all the chemicals of interest, with limits of detection ranging from a few nanograms to about 100-200 ng. Furthermore, it is suitable to deal with vapours directly trapped from the headspace of a vessel, and with salts treated in a basic solution. When coupled to FAST GC columns, the module can analyze multi-components mixes in less than 5 minutes.
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Sandro Mengali, Sandro Mengali, Nicola Liberatore, Nicola Liberatore, Domenico Luciani, Domenico Luciani, Roberto Viola, Roberto Viola, Gian Carlo Cardinali, Gian Carlo Cardinali, Ivan Elmi, Ivan Elmi, Antonella Poggi, Antonella Poggi, Stefano Zampolli, Stefano Zampolli, Elisa Biavardi, Elisa Biavardi, Enrico Dalcanale, Enrico Dalcanale, Federica Bonadio, Federica Bonadio, Olivier Delemont, Olivier Delemont, Pierre Esseiva, Pierre Esseiva, Francesco S. Romolo, Francesco S. Romolo, "Rapid screening and identification of illicit drugs by IR absorption spectroscopy and gas chromatography", Proc. SPIE 8631, Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices X, 86312F (4 February 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2003903; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2003903
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