A system and method are disclosed for standoff spectroscopy of molecules (e.g. from a residue) on a surface from a distance. A source emits radiation that modifies or conditions the residue, such as through photodecomposition. A spectral generating source measures a spectrum of the residue before and after the residue is exposed to the radiation from that source. The two spectra are compared to produce a distinct identification of the residues on the surface or identify certain properties of the residue.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-000R22725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.