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Coupling Gas Chromatography (GC) and Vacuum Ultraviolet (VUV) Spectroscopy for Forensic Applications

NCJ Number
John V. Goodpaster
Date Published
January 2021
12 pages

This final research report discusses a project that introduces, optimizes, validates, and demonstrates the use of GC/VUV spectroscopy for seized drugs analysis.


The author of this report describes a research project that had three primary goals: assemble a gas chromatography (GC) system with a vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) detector; qualify and optimize performance of the GC/VUV system for the analysis of controlled substances; and demonstrate the applicability of GC/VUV to realistic seized drug samples. The three major research questions were the project were: to determine if the GC/VUV is a viable technique for the forensic analysis of seized drugs; what the strengths and weakness of the technique are; and if GC/VUV should be thought of as an alternative to GC/MS or simply as a complementary technique. There were four major outcomes of the project: the validation of a GC/VUV instrument and establishment of its figures of merit; establishing a set of optimized GC/VUV methods for controlled substances; assessing the specificity of VUV spectra for structural isomers using chemometric methods; and the use of GC/VUV to analyze a set of realistic seized drug samples.