The Forensic Services Chemistry Section of the National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC) performed an evaluation of the DeltNu ReporteRtm (Version 2.11), which is currently used by law enforcement, border patrol officers, military personnel, and other first responders to chemically characterize unknown solids, liquids, and powders encountered in field environments.
Among the strengths of the DeltaNu ReporteRtm portable Raman spectrometer are its compactness and light weight (less than 1 pound), the nondestructiveness of samples, little sample preparation required, quick availability of results in a format understandable to a nonscientist, the high reproducibility of results, its ability to review results directly on the device by data, and the low cost of the unit compared to other portable Roman spectrometers. One area for improvement pertains to the Raman spectrometer's listing of dissimilar compounds as correlating. In addition, although the algorithms give a correlation score to aid the user, the sample and library reference spectra cannot be visually compared on the instrument; and neither can they be uploaded to the software and compared afterwards. It would be useful to have a comparison, especially when results have matches with low correlations. Limitations of the instrument are also listed. The evaluation included accuracy and reproducibility assessment of conformity, mixture sensitivity, specificity, ruggedness, and portability, including sample preparation and training requirements. The evaluation also briefly examined the associated NuSpec tm software and its library-building capabilities. The instrument was evaluated by using samples representative of categories likely to be encountered in a field or first-responder environment, including controlled substances, common diluents of controlled substances, explosives, common chemicals, and ignitable liquids. Appended tabular data