Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 410, Issue 21, pp 5237–5244 | Cite as

Rapid characterization of cocaine in illicit drug samples by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy

  • Mehdi Yemloul
  • I. Made Adyatmika
  • Stefano Caldarelli
  • Denis Ollivier
  • Mylène Campredon
Research Paper


Seized samples of illegally produced cocaine have a very large variability in composition; a fact that may result in a challenge to their analysis. We demonstrate here a simple and fast method to detect the presence of cocaine in both hydrochloride and free-base forms in illicit drug samples by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. This is achieved by combining the commonly used 1D spectra and diffusion-ordered spectroscopy and introducing the 2D maximum-quantum NMR approach to forensic analysis. The protocol allows the facile determination of the cocaine forms even in the presence of multiple adulterants. By relying on non-uniform sampling acceleration of 2D spectroscopy, the identification can be obtained in less than 3 min for 10 mg of product. Moreover, we show that intermolecular interactions of the sample constituents, while affecting the analysis result, do not interfere with the quality of the detection of the proposed protocol.


DOSY NMR MaxQ-NMR 1H-NMR Cocaine Adulterants 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

216_2018_1175_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (176 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 175 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, Centrale Marseille, iSm2MarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Service Commun des Laboratoires du Ministère des Finances, Laboratoire de MarseilleMarseilleFrance

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