A 244 nm excitation Raman microspectroscope has been developed and successfully used to investigate a range of narcotics and explosives, both pure and contaminated. The instrument is quick and simple to operate and effective in identifying these compounds. The wavelength was chosen to exploit the resonance Raman effect, thereby enhancing the band intensities beyond the normal v4 enhancement associated with the shorter wavelength excitation. Another advantage over visibly excited Raman spectroscopy is the complete lack of any fluorescence background, even with heavily contaminated samples. The simplification of spectra caused by resonance allowed the easy identification of species contained in complex mixtures.
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