Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Terahertz spectra of explosive materials

We have been asked for a reference for the terahertz spectra of explosive materials.

Below is a paper that was written a number of years ago been and is still of interest

The very far-infrared spectra of energetic materials and possible confusion materials using terahertz pulsed spectroscopy
Vibrational Spectroscopy 42(2)243-248(2006).
T. Lo, I.S. Gregory, C. Baker, P.F. Taday, W.R. Tribe, M.C. Kemp 


We have measured the terahertz absorption spectra of 1,3,5-trinitro-1,3,5-triazacyclohexane (RDX), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), 1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazacyclooctane (HMX), 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), the plastic explosives Semtex H, SX2, and Metabel, and a number of confusion materials using terahertz pulsed transmission spectroscopy. Spectral fingerprints were obtained from 3 to 133 cm−1. The spectra of the plastic explosives are dominated by the spectral signatures of their explosive components due to low frequency vibrations and crystalline phonon modes. Importantly, the terahertz spectra of the confusion materials show no resemblance to the explosives spectra. The refractive indices obtained for the plastic explosives and confusion materials allowed us to derive reflectance spectra, which appear distinct and so suggest that terahertz reflection spectroscopy is a suitable tool for the detection of concealed explosives in security applications.

The full paper can be found at

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