Law Enforcement Technology

JAN 2016

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26 Law Enforcement Technology January 2016 www.officer.com TALKING POINTS of these techniques do not provide the selectivity or sensitivity required. In many cases, this prevents officers from being certain that the evidence in ques- tion is even worth collecting at all. Understanding Raman, and its past limitations A handheld device that utilizes Ramen spectroscopy can do the heavy lifting in these situations. How does it work? Raman spectroscopy is a confirmatory test under Category A by the Scientific Working Group for the Analysis of Seized Drugs (SWGDRUG), and is widely used to support the detection and identification of illegal substances. Raman is a highly selective technique and has the ability to differentiate between a wide range of compounds— which is critical when faced with an increasingly broad range of threats. It is both safe and efficient. Unlike other handheld detection techniques, Raman analysis can often be performed through packaging material without disturbing the sample. This minimizes exposure to the operator and reduces the risk of sample contamination. Most handheld Raman-based chemical detection systems in use today utilize a 532nm or 785nm laser to excite the sample, which are known to generate heavy sample fluorescence interference. This makes analysis of colored materials extremely challenging. For this reason, the use Raman is a highly selective technique and has the ability to differentiate between a wide range of compounds ... Unlike other handheld detection techniques, Raman analysis can often be performed through packaging material without disturbing the sample. This minimizes exposure to the operator and reduces the risk of sample contamination. Circle 27 on Reader Service Card Circle 28 on Reader Service Card

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