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Issue 1, 2004
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Gas-phase reactions for selective detection of the explosives TNT and RDX

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Abstract

Highly selective gas-phase reactions with ethyl vinyl ether (EVE) of major electron (EI) and chemical ionization (CI) fragment ions of the explosives TNT and RDX have been uncovered. The fragment ion of m/z 210 from TNT undergoes [4+ + 2] cycloaddition with EVE to form an oxo-iminium ion of m/z 282, which dissociates by acetaldehyde loss after a [1,5-H] shift to form a quinolynium ion of m/z 238. The fragment ion of m/z 149 from RDX reacts with EVE by a formal vinylation reaction, that is, the elusive cyclic adduct loses ethanol to yield a nitro-iminium ion of m/z 175, which reacts further with EVE to form a second cyclic product ion of m/z 247. Calculations and MS/MS experiments support the proposed structures. These highly characteristic reactions of diagnostic EI and CI fragment ions improve selectivity for TNT and RDX detection.

Graphical abstract: Gas-phase reactions for selective detection of the explosives TNT and RDX

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Publication details

The article was received on 18 Aug 2003, accepted on 05 Nov 2003 and first published on 20 Nov 2003


Article type: Communication
DOI: 10.1039/B309962H
Citation: Chem. Commun., 2004,0, 40-41
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    Gas-phase reactions for selective detection of the explosives TNT and RDX

    E. C. Meurer, H. Chen, L. Riter, I. Cotte-Rodriguez, M. N. Eberlin and R. G. Cooks, Chem. Commun., 2004, 0, 40
    DOI: 10.1039/B309962H

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