The problem of detecting, recognising and identifying explosives at significant standoff distances has proved one of the most difficult—and most important—challenges during recent years, being today, one of the most demanding applications of spectroscopic techniques. The limited number of sophisticated available techniques potentially capable of standoff detection of minimal amounts of explosives is based on laser spectroscopy. Of the recently developed techniques, Raman spectroscopy and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) are considered significant for their potential for homeland defence applications.
Studying highly reactive organometallic complexes with fast time-resolved infrared spectroscopy using external cavity quantum cascade lasers
James A. Calladine and Michael W. GeorgeSchool of Chemistry, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham, NG7 2RD, UK. E-mail: Mike.George@nottingham.ac.uk
Often, chemists are interested in the most efficient way of converting our starting materials into the desired product. A huge number of reactions proceed via the production of intermediate species, see Scheme 1, which are usually short-lived and difficult to detect. Such intermediates are considered to be of great importance because it is their reactivity which can determine the outcome of a reaction and, hence, the efficiency with which the final product is made. This can have widespread importance across the whole of chemistry, ranging from pharmaceutical and organic synthesis to catalysis and materials chemistry.