Narcotics detectives, crime labs, customs agents, and law enforcement personnel all struggle with the need for safe and rapid analysis of suspected illegal drugs.

The Thermo Scientific TruNarc Handheld Narcotics Analyzer is a handheld Raman device that identifies multiple controlled substances including narcotics, synthetic drugs, cutting agents, and precursor chemicals in a single test, without direct contact for most samples.

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the TruNarc analyzer.

Yes, the TruNarc analyzer can identify fentanyl and several fentanyl variants. TruNarc v1.7 adds field identification capability for many new high priority alarm substances including several fentanyl derivatives, including the major additions of carfentanil, acrylfentanyl, fentanyl precursors (NPP and ANPP) and pharmaceutical variants (Alfentanil and Sufentanil).

Now with the expanded v1.7 library, the TruNarc analyzer can scan more than 415 substances in a single, definitive test.

In order to maintain chain of custody and ensure court admissible results, the TruNarc analyzer includes a closed loop library. Library updates are made on a regular basis to ensure users have access to the latest emerging threats.

The TruNarc analyzer often presents point and shoot test results in seconds although some samples could take up to a minute.

The TruNarc analyzer uses lab-proven Raman spectroscopy. Raman is a vibrational spectroscopy technique where a single wavelength laser is focused on a sample. The laser excites the bonds of a molecule, which generates measurable scattered light to identify the material in question. Raman is a highly effective method for reliable identification of an unknown substance based on its underlying chemistry.

Raman spectroscopy has been extensively deployed for use in homeland security applications, largely due to the high chemical specificity, with each chemical substance having a unique spectral fingerprint. 

Raman spectroscopy is best used as a primary analysis technique for sealed containers, aqueous solutions, and white and light powders. The TruNarc analyzer also uses a Type H kit to analyze substances with high fluorescence.

Depending on jurisdiction, TruNarc test results may be allowed at preliminary hearings.

The TruNarc analyzer captures all scan results, including time-and-date stamp and system selfchecks to help expedite prosecution. Once a substance is analyzed, full results are automatically stored for reporting and evidence submission. Rapid results combined with automated reports can streamline the path to prosecution, reducing administrative burden and dramatically impacting the time and expense of drug-related arrests.

Yes. Because the TruNarc analyzer employs nondestructive, non-contact Raman technology, it can scan directly through sealed glass and plastic containers. This feature helps reduce exposure to ensure officer safety, and is particularly useful for preserving evidence.

Rechargeable internal 3.7V battery pack lasts up to 10 hours.

Thermo Scientific portable chemical analyzers deliver rapid, field-based identification of unknown chemicals, explosives, and chemical weapons, as well as narcotics. These rugged, fit-for-purpose instruments bring the power of Raman and FTIR spectroscopy directly to the point of need where quick delivery of actionable data is needed most. 

To learn more about our analyzers and Raman and FTIR technology, see our resources below.