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Opportunity at Chemical and Biological Defense Funded Laboratories (CBD)

Raman Spectroscopic Analysis of Hazardous Battlefield Contaminants


ECBC-Edgewood Chemical Biological Center, Chemistry & Chemical Technology

RO# Location
01.15.02.B4680 Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD 210105423


Name E-mail Phone
Fountain, Augustus Way (410) 436-0683


The ability to detect chemical, biological, and explosive hazards both at close range and from a distance is important for providing a capability to warn potential victims. A wide variety of optical techniques are being explored in order to obtain this capability, but the problem is proving to be a significant technical and scientific challenge. These challenges include low vapor pressures, limited sample size, deliberate concealment, and interferences. Each of these constraints impacts the ability of optical techniques to detect and identify hazardous materials, especially in the vapor phase. Optical techniques are attractive; however, because they can potentially provide a noncontact and standoff detection capability requiring no sample preparation. Because of the aforementioned vapor pressure and concealment constraints, the application most suited for optical spectroscopy is the detection and identification of bulk or trace material on surfaces. Raman spectroscopy is one such optical technique that has shown promise for explosives detection. As a vibrational spectroscopy, Raman spectra contain information on the specific arrangement and interaction of the atoms constituting the molecule. This information is highly molecule specific and allows for differentiation between types of explosives. While IR spectroscopy is also a vibrational spectroscopy and provides the same ability to differentiate molecular species, IR spectra are much more dependent on the particle size and the nature of the background surface than Raman spectra. Sample thickness and surface reflectivity and roughness affect the IR peak positions as well as their peak intensities.


Raman spectroscopy; SERS; Biosensors; Fiber optics; Infrared; Ultraviolet;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants
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