We present a comparative discrimination spectral detection approach for the identification of chemical vapors using broad spectral filters. We applied the method to flowing vapors of as-received and non-interacting mixtures for the detection of the volatile components of a target chemical in the presence of interferents. The method is based on measurements of the overall spectral signature of the vapors, where the interferent spectrum largely overlaps the target spectrum. In this work we outline the construction of a set of abstract configuration-space vectors, generated by the broadband spectral components from sampled chemical vapors, and the subsequent vector-space operations between them, which enable the detection of a target chemical by comparative discrimination from interferents. The method was applied to the C-H vibrational band from 2500 to 3500 cm−1, where there is large spectral signal overlap between the chosen target chemical and two interferents. Our results show clear detection and distinction of the target vapors without ambiguity.
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