Application Notes
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Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) Confirmation with X-ray Diffraction

Hazardous and Unknown Substance Identification with X-ray Diffraction
Hazardous and Unknown Substance Identification with X-ray Diffraction
Hazardous and Unknown Substance Identification with X-ray Diffraction

 Olympus X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyzers can be used to identify pharmaceuticals and unknown substances such as narcotics and counterfeit medication. Olympus XRD analyzers can be used in the field or a controlled laboratory environment for safe, fast analysis of hazardous materials. 

Fast results with Olympus technology

 Olympus XRD instruments use leading-edge and reliable technology employed in NASA’s Curiosity Rover, part of the successful NASA Mars Science Laboratory program.

 While the TERRATM and BTX-II analyzers use identical powder-XRD technology to identify compounds. The BTX-II is a small benchtop unit for laboratory investigation. The Terra actually operates both as electric, or battery-operated for up to five hours. Both analyzers are equipped with a unique, patented powder-handling system that utilizes small powder quantities with little sample preparation (less than 15 mg).


Comparison plots of XRD patterns

Advantages of XRD

  • Detect and identify narcotics, counterfeits, and unknown materials 
  • Safe, fast analysis of hazardous material 
  • Easy-to-use instruments for field or lab analysis 
  • Closed beam operation for user safety
  • Portable or benchtop diffractometer 

Identifying Unknown Compounds

Pharmaceuticals: Detecting Counterfeits

Pharmaceutical companies spend millions of dollars developing and marketing medications. When counterfeit medications are sold under their brand name it not only harms the company’s reputation and profits but, more importantly, it puts patients at risk of being exposed to harmful substances or ineffective formulations. Pharmaceutical drugs display specific XRD fingerprints that can be used to identify counterfeit medications.

  • Rapid identification of counterfeit pharmaceuticals
  • Detect the presence of active and inactive ingredients as well as foreign and substitute materials
  • Help ensure patient safety and safeguard pharmaceutical manufacturer’s branding

XRD data analysis reveals the presence of filler minerals (gypsum and bassanite) in a blue pill expected to contain a popular male enhancement drug

XRD data analysis reveals the presence of filler materials (gypsum and basanite) in a blue pill expected to contain a popular name brand drug

white powder in bags

Customs: Narcotics Identification

Police and legal teams need a fast, conclusive method to detect illegal substances. Olympus XRD analyzers provide rapid compound identification of unknown substances. Narcotics have unique XRD fingerprints that can be used to identify suspect materials.

  • Fast, easy sample preparation and analysis for rapid results
  • Sample spinner cell is safe for analyzing potentially hazardous materials
  • Sealed cell enables samples to be archived for future analysis


Safe and Easy Sample Preparation 

Our unique sample spinner design enables safe, easy handling of hazardous substances.

  • Small sample size—approximately 15 mg
  • Minimal preparation—no additional grinding required
  • Sealed sample cell—safe for volatiles
  • Archivable samples—sealed sample cells can be stored for future evidence
Olympus IMS
Продукты, используемые для этой цели

Дифрактометр TERRA™ II специально создан для выполнения количественного минералогического анализа «в поле». TERRA™ II обеспечивает до 6 часов работы без подзарядки, имеет ударопрочный и устойчивый к внешним воздействиям корпус, и специально разработан для анализа основных и попутных компонентов в полевых условиях.
Дифрактометр BTX™ III, в компактной настольной конфигурации, обеспечивает надежный количественный минералогический анализ основных и попутных компонентов. Мощное программное обеспечение и улучшенный рентгеновский детектор обеспечивают высокую чувствительность и скорость анализа.
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