Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Chemistry

Content Description

1 online resource (xxvii, 238 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Rabi A Musah

Committee Members

Alexander Shekhtman, Igor K Lednev, Robert B Cody


High resolution spectroscopy, Mass spectrometry, Hallucinogenic plants

Subject Categories

Analytical Chemistry | Chemistry


In current forensic testing, a new pattern is emerging where the drugs that are submitted to crime labs for analysis are no longer restricted to well-characterized substances such as cocaine, heroin and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The appearance of new psychoactive substances (NPS) in forensic laboratories, including synthetic alternatives to scheduled substances and plant-based psychotropics, has highlighted issues that traditional analytical methods such as gas chromatography- and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry impose in the characterization of these samples. These can include lengthy extractions, derivatization steps, pH adjustments and/or a host of other procedures. Since the creation of legislation to address the use of these products relies on the presence of laboratory methods that can identify them, the development of suitable standard operating protocols (SOPs) for their detection is imperative.