Stand-off measurements on nitromethane (NM), 2,4-DNT and 2,4,6-TNT in vapor phase using resonance Raman spectroscopy have been performed. The Raman cross sections for NM, DNT and TNT in vapor phase have been measured in the wavelength range 210-300 nm under laboratory conditions, in order to estimate how large resonance enhancement factors can be achieved for these explosives. The measurements show that the signal is greatly enhanced, up to 250.000 times for 2,4-DNT and 60.000 times for 2,4,6-TNT compared to the non-resonant signal at 532 nm. For NM the resonance enhancement enabled realistic outdoor measurements in vapor phase at 13 m distance. This all indicate a potential for resonance Raman spectroscopy as a stand-off technique for detection of vapor phase explosives.© (2010) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.