Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2012, $163,385)
Sensitive, rapid, high-sensitivity and low cost methods for detecting substances of abuse will be developed. This work will focus on developing fluorescent indicators for substances of abuse with enhanced specificities. These new fluorescent indicators will be based on d10 metal complexes and will allow greater detection sensitivity and flexibility. These indicators are shelf stable and low cost and the complexes formed can be stored for long periods of time without loss of fluorescence. The fluorescence observed in these complexes is due to the nature of the metal and metal-analyte bonds present in the complex. This is a well understood phenomena and will stand up to Daubert challenges. By coupling new sources, fluorescent indicators, and digitizing systems it will be possible to positively identify compounds rapidly in the field and in the lab. Ultimately, this approach could be implemented in a small handheld system that will allow assessment of multiple indicators in the field.