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Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for Trace Identification of Controlled Substances: Morphine, Codeine, and Hydrocodone

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 56 Issue: 1 Dated: Jan 2011 Pages: 200-207
Date Published
January 2011
8 pages

This article reports on a research project that obtained the normal Raman and surface‐enhanced Raman spectrum of three controlled substances: morphine, codeine, and hydrocodone. 


The spectra were assigned with the aid of density functional theory. Because of intense fluorescence, normal Raman spectra suffered from poor signal‐to‐noise, even when differential subtraction techniques were used. On the other hand, surface enhancement by Ag nanoparticles both enhanced the Raman signal and suppressed the fluorescence, enabling more sensitive detection and identification. The article also presents a set of discriminant bands, useful for distinguishing the three compounds despite the similarities in their structures. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2011