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We present a Raman spectroscopic method for the noninvasive detection of liquid explosives within bottles, and other packaging, of substantially higher sensitivity and wider applicability than that currently available via conventional Raman spectroscopy. The approach uses a modification of the spatially offset Raman spectroscopy (SORS) concept, which permits the interrogation of a wide range of containers, including transparent, colored, and diffusely scattering plastic and glass beverage, medicine, and cosmetic bottles, with no change in experimental geometry. The enhanced sensitivity is achieved by the technique's inherent ability to effectively suppress fluorescence and Raman contributions originating from the wall of the container. The application is demonstrated on the noninvasive detection of hydrogen peroxide solution, a critical component of a number of liquid explosives. In contrast to conventional Raman spectroscopy, the modified SORS concept enables the detection of concealed hydrogen peroxide solution in all the studied cases.

Original publication





Analytical chemistry

Publication Date





8185 - 8189


Central Laser Facility, Science and Technology Facilities Council, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire, OX11 0QX, UK.