PULSED MOLECULAR BEAM FOURIER TRANSFORM MICROWAVE SPECTROSCOPY OF $\alpha$-PINENE AND $\beta$-PINENE
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Publisher:Ohio State University
Chemical analysis of fire debris is often conducted to determine whether accelerants were employed. The GC and GC/MS methods used in these analyses do not always offer the chemical specificity that the forensic chemist would like, however. In an effort to demonstrate the potential application of the Fourier-transform microwave (FTMW) spectrometer as a chemically-specific forensic tool we have collected the pure rotational spectra of the major constituents of one possible accelerant, turpentine. The major constituents are $\alpha$-pinene and $\beta$-pinene, and their spectra have been recorded from 8 GHz to 20 GHz. The spectrum of $\beta$-pinene has been assigned, and the rotational constants $A = 1901.8889 \pm 0.00048 MHz, B = 1293.66095 \pm 0.00026 MHz$, and $C = 1150.83126 \pm 0.00010 MHz$, as well as several distortion constants, have been extracted from the data. Stark data have also been collected, from which the dipole moment will be determined. The spectrum of $\alpha$-pinene is currently under analysis. Because the rotational spectra for $\alpha$-pinene and $\alpha$-pinene are distinct, the relative amounts of the two constituents in a sample could be determined, something that would be useful in deciding if the detected pinenes are of natural orgin or not.
Author Institution: National Institute of Standards and Technology, Optical Technology Division
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