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Dataset of near/infrared spectral data of illicit/drugs and forensic casework samples analyzed by five portable spectrometers operating in different wavelength ranges



The increasing amount of globally seized controlled substances in combination with the more diverse drugs/of/abuse market encompassing many new psychoactive substances (NPS) provides challenges for rapid and reliable on/site presumptive drug testing. Long/established colorimetric spot tests tend to fail due to the unavailability of reliable tests for novel drugs and to false/positive reactions on commonly encountered substances. In addition, handling of samples and chemicals is required. Spectroscopic techniques do not have these disadvantages as spectra are compound/specific and non/invasive tests are possible. Near/infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is a promising technique for on/scene forensic drug detection. Numerous portable devices were introduced in the market in recent years. However, most handheld spectrometers operate in different and relatively confined wavelength ranges compared to the full 780 - 2500 nm NIR wavelength range. In addition, their spectral resolution is limited compared to benchtop instruments. This dataset presents the NIR spectra of 430 forensic samples, including regularly encountered illicit/drugs, NPS, commonly used adulterants, bulking/agents and excipients, and seized casework materials (powders and tablets). Data is available from 5 different NIR spectrometers; including a benchmark high/resolution, full range 350-2500 nm laboratory grade instrument and 4 portable spectrometers operating in the ranges of 1300-2600 nm, 1550-1950 nm, 950-1650 nm and 740-1070 nm. Via this dataset, spectra of illicit/drugs become available to institutes that typically do not have access to controlled substances. This data can be used to develop chemometric detection and classification models for illicit/drugs and provide insight in diagnostic spectral features that need to be recorded for reliable detection models. Additionally, the high/resolution, full range VIS/NIR spectra of the benchmark ASD instrument can be used for in/silica predictions of spectra in a certain wavelength range to provide insight in the optimal resolution and wavelength range of a prospective portable device.

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Date of Publication: 
October 7, 2022
Ruben F. Kranenburg/ Yannick Weesepoel / Martin Alewijn / Sharon Sap / Peter W.F. Arisz / Annette van Esch / Peter H.J. Keizers / Arian C. van Asten
Dutch National Police / University of Amsterdam /Wageningen University and Research / Dutch Customs Laboratory / Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI) / (National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) / Co van Ledden Hulsebosch Center (CLHC)
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