Rapid Identification of Heroin with Handheld Raman

Raman spectroscopy is used widely by law enforcement as a field screening tool due to its speed, selectivity and ease of use. The majority of materials can be identified by the Raman signature, as they exhibit sharp distinctive peaks serving as a molecular fingerprint. However, many street and real-world samples are dark in color and not pure. The dark color, often due to impurities, gives rise to fluorescence that interferes with the Raman measurement. One method to suppress the fluorescence of a sample and enhance the Raman activity / signal is by the use of Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS).