Hand-Held Portable Desorption Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Ion Source for in Situ Analysis of Nitroaromatic Explosives

Fred P. M. Jjunju, Simon Maher, Anyin Li, Sarfaraz U. Syed, Barry Smith, Ron M. A. Heeren, Stephen Taylor*, R. Graham Cooks

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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A novel, lightweight (0.6 kg), solvent- and gas-cylinder-free, hand-held ion source based on desorption atmospheric pressure chemical ionization has been developed and deployed for the analysis of nitroaromatic explosives on surfaces in open air, offering portability for in-field analysis. A small, inexpensive, rechargeable lithium polymer battery was used to power the custom-designed circuitry within the device, which generates up to +/- 5 kV dc voltage to ignite a corona discharge plasma in air for up to 12 h of continuous operation, and allowing positive- and negative-ion mass spectrometry. The generated plasma is pneumatically transported to the surface to be interrogated by ambient air at a rate of 1-3.5 L/min, compressed using a small on-board diaphragm pump. The plasma source allows liquid or solid samples to be examined almost instantaneously without any sample preparation in the open environment. The advantages of low carrier gas and low power consumption (
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10047-10055
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2015

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