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University of Central Florida scientists, led by physicist Richard Blair, have developed a handheld fluorometer that, when combined with a smartphone, allows quick, accurate and inexpensive spectral analysis of suspected illegal drugs by law enforcement officers in the field. The fluorometer, constructed for about $45 with a 3-D printer, is in the final lab testing phase; field testing should begin in the next few months.
 
The device allows investigators to identify powders and other substances using a paper test strip soaked in copper iodide. Drugs containing nitrogen react by giving off a florescent signature unique to the drug. An investigator in the field can photograph the reaction spectrum with a smartphone, upload the results to the cloud, and use that spectrum to build a criminal case. This system has the potential to replace the current method in which caustic chemicals must be mixed with the suspect substances, allowing for safer and quicker testing techniques.
 
 
Source: NIJ
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