U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Preliminary Investigation Into Tris(2,2'-bipyridyl) Ruthenium (III) as a Chemiluminescent Reagent for the Detection of 3,6-Diacetylmorphine (Heroin) on Surfaces

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 52 Issue: 5 Dated: September 2007 Pages: 1111-1114
Kent M. Agg B.Sc.; Neil W. Barnett D.Sc.; Simon W. Lewis Ph.D.; James R. Pearson Ph.D.
Date Published
September 2007
4 pages
This paper reports on preliminary studies regarding the utility of using tris(2,2'-bipyridyl) ruthenium (III) as a chemiluminescent spray reagent spot-test for heroin on surfaces, particularly polymer banknotes.
The two forms of the reagent (aqueous and anhydrous) yielded vastly different results. The aqueous reagent produced slow, low-intensity chemiluminescence; and the anhydrous reagent generated a fast, bright response in the presence of 3,6-diacetylmorphine (heroin). The disadvantage of the anhydrous reagent is the use of a flammable solvent sprayed as an aerosol, so no naked flame can be present when using this reagent. The aqueous reagent was selective for 3,6-diacetylmorphine over codeine, acetylcodeine, and noscapine, but 3-monoacetlymorphine also gave slow long-lasting chemiluminescence with the aqueous reagent. This should not be a problem, however, since 3-monoacetylmorphine is a byproduct in the synthesis of heroin. The chemiluminescence reaction was studied by using stopped-flow instrumentation in order to gain insight into the reaction kinetics of 3,6-diacetylmorphine and the tris(2,2'-bipyridyl) ruthenium (III) reagent in an aqueous and anhydrous environment, as well as in the presence of some heroin cutting agents. The reagent was dispensed as a spray over suspect articles. Several surfaces were examined, including polymer bank notes and the laboratory bench. 1 table, 2 figures, and 26 references


No download available