Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 3, 2016
Previous Article Next Article

Infrared and Raman screening of seized novel psychoactive substances: a large scale study of >200 samples

Author affiliations

Abstract

The potential of IR absorption and Raman spectroscopy for rapid identification of novel psychoactive substances (NPS) has been tested using a set of 221 unsorted seized samples suspected of containing NPS. Both IR and Raman spectra showed large variation between the different sub-classifications of NPS and smaller, but still distinguishable, differences between closely related compounds within the same class. In initial tests, screening the samples using spectral searching against a limited reference library allowed only 41% of the samples to be fully identified. The limiting factor in the identification was the large number of active compounds in the seized samples for which no reference vibrational data were available in the libraries rather than poor spectral quality. Therefore, when 33 of these compounds were independently identified by NMR and mass spectrometry and their spectra used to extend the libraries, the percentage of samples identified by IR and Raman screening alone increased to 76%, with only 7% of samples having no identifiable constituents. This study, which is the largest of its type ever carried out, therefore demonstrates that this approach of detecting non-matching samples and then identifying them using standard analytical methods has considerable potential in NPS screening since it allows rapid identification of the constituents of the majority of street quality samples. Only one complete feedback cycle was carried out in this study but there is clearly the potential to carry out continuous identification/updating when this system is used in operational settings.

Graphical abstract: Infrared and Raman screening of seized novel psychoactive substances: a large scale study of >200 samples

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 10 Nov 2015, accepted on 08 Jan 2016 and first published on 08 Jan 2016


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02326B
Analyst, 2016,141, 902-909
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
  •   Request permissions

    Infrared and Raman screening of seized novel psychoactive substances: a large scale study of >200 samples

    L. E. Jones, A. Stewart, K. L. Peters, M. McNaul, S. J. Speers, N. C. Fletcher and S. E. J. Bell, Analyst, 2016, 141, 902
    DOI: 10.1039/C5AN02326B

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material.

    Reproduced material should be attributed as follows:

    • For reproduction of material from NJC:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from PCCP:
      [Original citation] - Published by the PCCP Owner Societies.
    • For reproduction of material from PPS:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) on behalf of the European Society for Photobiology, the European Photochemistry Association, and RSC.
    • For reproduction of material from all other RSC journals:
      [Original citation] - Published by The Royal Society of Chemistry.

    Information about reproducing material from RSC articles with different licences is available on our Permission Requests page.

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements