Identification of Chemical Warfare Agents using a Handheld Raman Spectrometer
Anton Paar’s Cora 100 Raman spectrometer easily identifies different chemical warfare agents by their unique chemical fingerprint
Chemical weapons have been used in numerous wars and continue to be a threat to human life e.g. from attacks by terrorist groups. They generally consist of a toxic chemical (chemical warfare agent, CWA) and a delivery system such as a bomb.
Chemical weapons have been banned in the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons, and their Destruction (Chemical Weapons Convention, CWC), which has been signed and ratified by 192 states. Chemicals that might potentially be used as CWAs are listed and classified in the CWC and their production and transfer are regulated by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).
The authorities investigating violations of the CWC such as military or hazmat teams require fast and safe methods for the identification of presumably illegal substances in the field. Small handheld devices using non-contact and non-destructive measurement techniques such as the Cora 100 analyzer are ideally suited for this application.
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