Fast analysis of narcotic drugs by optical chemical imaging

Michal Fisher, Vallery Bulatov, Israel Schechter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A new technique is proposed for fast detection, identification and imaging of narcotic drugs in their solid phase. This technique, which requires only a tiny sample of a few microns, is based on microscopic chemical imaging. Minor sample preparation is required, and results are obtained within seconds. As far as we know, this is the most sensitive detection system available today for solid drugs. The technique can be applied for fast analysis of minute drug residues, and therefore is of considerable importance for forensic applications. It is shown that identification of drug traces in realistic matrixes is possible. Two main methods were applied in this study for detection of drugs and drug derivatives. The first method was based on direct detection and chemical imaging of the auto-fluorescence of the analyzed drugs. This method is applicable when the analyzed drug emits fluorescence under the experiment conditions, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (known as LSD). The second method was used for obtaining chemical imaging of drugs that do not fluoresce under the experiment conditions. In these cases fluorescent labeling dyes were applied to the examined samples (including the drug and the matrix). Both methods are simple and rapid, and require minor or no sample preparation at all. Detection limits are very low in the picogram range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-200
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Luminescence
Issue numberSPEC
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the 2002 International Conference on Luminescence - Budapest, Hungary
Duration: 24 Aug 200229 Aug 2002


  • Chemical imaging
  • Drug
  • Fluorescence


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