Revolutionizing Forensic Narcotics Testing

In the field of forensics, the chemical identification of unknown substances is an emerging challenge. Narcotics and other drugs are often unidentified, new psychoactive substances require sophisticated analytical techniques such as NMR for identification.

Fourier 80 CrimeLab with NMR Narcotics Profiling module

End-to-end Solution
Fully automated analysis, data interpretation and report generation, designed for users with no NMR knowledge and tailored to the needs of the forensics environment.
Sharing Expertise
A software-based workflow allows labs to easily share results and reports.
Customizable Database
The open approach of this learning system gives forensic investigators unparalleled capabilities to tailor the solution to regional requirements and adapt quickly to new threats.
Identify NPS
New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) can be reliably identified and quantified, without the need for a pre-qualified reference substance.



Easy to use: The Fourier 80 CrimeLab with NMR Narcotics Profiling module offers the power of NMR in an easy-to-use, fully automated method that produces clear and detailed reports outlining the presence and quantity of substances present in a seized drug sample. Users with no NMR knowledge can run advanced NMR analysis including automated data interpretation and report generation. The instrument is operated by the industry-standard TopSpin NMR software plus comprehensive sample tracking software IconNMR and the non-expert but highly customizable push-button interface, GoScan.

Unique to Bruker: floor-standing and benchtop NMR with same operating software

Clear reporting: The analytical results are presented in a Portable Document Format (PDF) and in an interactive NMR spectrum visualization software. Reports include an easy-to-read table with substances identified and quantified, graphical feedback on substances matched to database entries, and a residual plot for analysis consistency measures. The reports have been designed to be suitable for legal proceedings.

Report page 1

Open platform: This open and customizable system allows law enforcement authorities to have full control of the underlying database of compounds to which the NMR spectra are compared, without the need to continually purchase libraries. The Fourier 80 CrimeLab with NMR Narcotics Profiling module comes with an initial spectral database of 87 purified scheduled and non-scheduled substances. The database can be easily expanded by adding new entries using a clear standard operating procedure, by sharing databases across forensic networks, and by non-commercial law enforcement forensic data sharing platforms, such as the NPS-Datahub



  • Compact footprint
  • Analysis of unknown mixtures
  • Identification and quantification of constituents
  • Automation of up to 120 samples
  • Minimal cost of ownership
  • No new infrastructure required
  • No NMR experience required
The task disclosure of substances present in a mixture

Distributed Laboratory Topology

Distributed Laboratory Topology

A combination of Bruker’s High-resolution NMR spectrometers at central scientific centers and its Fourier CrimeLab benchtop NMR spectrometers at local governmental satellite laboratories introduces a new multi-level topology in the field of forensic analysis.

Bruker’s expert NMR software package TopSpin that accompanies both instrument lines frees NMR operators up to support any kind of analysis, even remotely. Additionally, novice NMR users can use customizable pre-defined data acquisition choices in the GoScan software on the Fourier CrimeLab.

This multi-level topology with nationally or internationally interlinked laboratories and harmonized methodologies provides a new platform for coherent data generation, reduced time-to-results and enhanced training synergies.

Any forensic lab takes advantage of NMR as signals in the NMR spectrum which cannot be matched to an existing database entry will be clearly highlighted in the report. These samples can be directly sent to the closest collaborating forensic laboratory for more detailed analysis by a floor-standing Bruker Avance Series NMR systems.

Distributed Laboratory Topology

NMR in Forensic

NMR in Forensics

Customs and border control authorities are facing unprecedented challenges due to fraudulent activity across several sectors, ranging from narcotics, doping agents, global waste trade, chemical warfare agents and even explosives manufacturing.

In the field of forensics, the chemical identification of unknown substances is an emerging challenge. Narcotics and other drugs are often unidentified, new psychoactive substances that require sophisticated analytical techniques such as NMR for identification.

The police, customs authorities, governmental and toxicology laboratories involved in forensic analysis require state-of-the-art scientific instruments for the unambiguous detection of suspicious materials that have been seized.

Determining the True Nature of Suspicious Substances

The ever-increasing emergence of new psychoactive substances (around 100 per year) has been identified as a key issue by forensic specialists.

These substances are uncontrolled, vary in dose and often have an unknown chemical structure. They require automated, unambiguous identification and quantification by techniques that are more sophisticated than commonly applied methods. Without this, the data cannot be used in court as conclusive evidence for legal proceedings. Only NMR is capable of discriminating all isomers unambiguously without the use of compound specific reference substances.

As the leading developer of analytical and diagnostic NMR solutions, Bruker serves many clients working in the police, customs, federal, state and border control laboratories across more than 40 countries, providing more than 80 high-performance NMR systems.  

AV400 nanobay Bruker’s portfolio includes two top-quality NMR instruments for application in forensics: the Fourier CrimeLab Benchtop NMR Spectrometer and the AVANCE NEO high-resolution spectrometer

Application Notes

Application Notes

Woman scientists in goggles and gloves holding flask with marijuana

Structural Analysis of a Novel Psychoactive Drug

Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs) are psychoactive substances that were first developed for medical research. However, they now account for a large proportion of novel psychoactive substances (NPS), and, since 2008, have been monitored by the European Monitoring Centre for Drug and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)¹.
Research of white friable powder in laboratory

NMR is an Essential Tool for the Identification and Characterization of Novel, Illicit Opioids

Pain affects every individual at some point in their life and if this pain is persistent or severe, it can significantly impair mental and physical health as well as the quality of life. In 1995, to improve care, the American Pain Society declared that pain should be treated as the ‘fifth vital sign’. However, unlike the other four vital signs – body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate and blood pressure – pain is subjective, making effective treatment difficult. Despite the good intentions, this initiative has led to dramatic increases in the prescription of highly addictive opioid medication.

Analyzing Post-Mortem Changes of Metabolites by NMR

Forensic science is a key tool in courts of law; it provides scientific evidence that can be crucial in achieving a conviction or acquittal. The evidence it can provide includes fingerprint identification, DNA profiling, blood stain pattern analysis, and time of death or the post-mortem interval (PMI).

Use of an “Intrinsic” Internal Standard to Quantitate CBD in Hemp Seed Samples

Hemp is a non-psychoactive form of the Cannabis sativa L. plant that is used for a wide range of applications and whose chemical composition is therefore of ongoing interest. Hemp seeds, in particular, are used as both a food and pharmaceutical source, with a nutritional profile thought to offer several health benefits. This has resulted in a growing demand for rapid and reliable analytical methods for characterizing the compounds found in hemp seed products.

Extracting High-value Products from Hemp Waste

Hemp (Cannabis sativa) is cultivated for its fiber (bast fiber) and its edible seeds as well as some medicinal products [1]. When bast fibers are separated from the hemp stem, what’s left is called hemp hurds. These woody residues are the least valuable part of the hemp stem and are treated as a by-product of fiber production, even though they represent the largest fraction of the hemp plant.

An Integrated Approach to Identifying New Psychoactive Substances

The emergence of new psychoactive substances (NPS), or designer drugs, is a continuing issue for drug enforcement agencies. These drugs are designed to mimic the effects of controlled substances but circumvent controlled substances legislation with a slightly modified novel chemical structure.

Using Orthogonal Methods for Rapid Narcotics Analysis

The detection of illegal drugs is a constant battle for law enforcement authorities worldwide. Key challenges in narcotics analysis include unambiguous identification and proper quantification of suspicious substances. Data generated must also be robust enough for submission in legal proceedings.
NMR Helps Tackle Scourge of New Psychoactive Substances

NMR Helps Tackle Scourge of New Psychoactive Substances

Like many countries, Germany has had to contend with the rise of designer drugs or new psychoactive substances (NPS) since the emergence of ‘Spice’ in 2008. The suppliers of these drugs exploit loopholes in the law that mean that newly emerging compounds that have not yet been identified and scheduled by the authorities are not illegal.