(Received 21 March 1991; accepted 23 July 1991)
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Although the diamond anvil cell (DAC) has been used in many forensic science laboratories for the analysis of trace evidence, few applications of this technique for the analysis of controlled substances have been reported. This may be due to both an unfamiliarity on the part of forensic drug chemists with this accessory and the nature and quality of spectra that result from use of a DAC on a dispersive instrument. Along with low energy throughput, which results in relatively high noise levels, strong broad diamond absorptions occur. With the use of a Fourier transform infrared instrument, these do not present a problem and nanogram quantities of materials can be analyzed when the DAC is used with an infrared microscope. Since single crystals can be sampled with the DAC, simple physical separations (involving particle-picking) can be used in certain cases to isolate drugs from particulate mixtures for infrared analysis. This method is especially useful for some “difficult” mixtures and residues, and several examples of such analyses involving samples of forensic science interest are presented.
Forensic scientist, Washington State Crime Laboratory, Washington State Patrol, Seattle, WA
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