Discipline: Chemistry and Chemical Sciences
Subcategory: Chemistry (not Biochemistry)
Brittnie Hanley - Alabama State University
Co-Author(s): Minh Chung and Iris Y.F. Hou, LAMP High School, Montgomery, AL Harvey J.M. Hou, Alabama State University, Montgomery, AL
In the 2015 ERN conference, we have reported that the combination of gold nanoparticles and spectroscopy offers a promising and innovative way for the detection of illegal substance cocaine. In this work we confirmed our former conclusions and further investigated the chemical interactions between the cocaine and gold nanoparticles. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is widely used to determine the functional groups in a molecule. The hypothesis of the work is that the infrared spectra of samples containing drug cocaine and nanoparticles should provide the structural information of the drugs on nanoparticles. As we know that cocaine is a powerful drug that has numerous harmful effects on the brain, heart, and other organs. Although cocaine users exhibit pleasurable effects, users of cocaine suffer from problems such as high blood pressure and increased risks of strokes, respiratory problems, among many other effects that can and often result in death. Being one of the most dangerous drugs, cocaine was originally developed as a painkiller. The most trafficked illegal drug is marijuana. There are already techniques used today to detect the presence of drugs; however, new techniques are being researched for more efficient and effective ways to detect and analyze these drugs. Nanomaterials and nanotechnology has shown potential effectiveness in forensic analysis. Cocaine has at least three possible bonding sites to the gold nanoparticles, including methyl ester group, benzyl ester group and phenyl group. In the absence of gold nanoparticles, cocaine has generated 15 IR absorption peaks. The IR peaks of 2953, 2882, 2851, 2800 and 1457 cm-1 are associated with the alkane group (-CH3) and (-CH2-) in cocaine. The ketone and ester groups in cocaine produced six IR peaks, 1753, 1717, 1319, 1278, 1232, and 1181 cm-1. The IR signals of 1115, 1069, and 1038 cm-1 is attributed to the amine group (N(CH2)2CH3) in cocaine. The strong IR peak at 716 cm-1 is produced by the mono-substituted benzene ring in cocaine. We noticed the shift of benzene ring mode from 716 cm-1 to 710 cm-1 in the presence of gold nanoparticles, suggesting the phenyl group is likely close to nanoparticle. Future experiment is needed to approve or disapprove the hypothesis. This type of information may be valuable for the design and preparation of the novel functionalized nanoparticles in detecting of forensic drug cocaine as well as other controlled substances.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): NSF
Faculty Advisor: Harvey Hou,