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.
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 TopSpinTM NMR software. The GoScanTM graphical user interface provides a straightforward  push button operator experience.

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

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 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