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Fluorescence of Aromatic Amines and Their Fluorescamine Derivatives for Detection of Explosive Vapors

Volume 60, Number 9 (Sept. 2006) Page 958-963

Eastwood, Delyle; Fernandez, Carlos; Yoon, B. Yunghoon; Sheaff, Chrystal N.; Wai, Chien M.

Nitroaromatics (such as dinitrotoluene, trinitrotoluene, and nitrobenzene) found in explosive vapors from buried landmines can be reduced to aminoaromatics by a novel process involving Pd metal nanocatalysts prepared in supercritical fluid carbon dioxide and supported on multi-walled carbon nanotubes. These aminoaromatics are fluorescent and, if desired, the fluorescence yield can be increased and the fluorescence maxima shifted further toward the red by reaction with appropriate derivatizing agents such as fluorescamine. Corrected spectra for these chemicals and their derivatives are included. Subpicomolar detection limits have already been achieved using a laboratory spectrofluorometer with a 150 W Xe arc lamp. Using lasers as excitation sources, this approach has the potential for developing a field sensor competitive with other methods currently used for detecting explosive vapors from land mines.