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Issue 34, 2017
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DART-MS analysis of inorganic explosives using high temperature thermal desorption

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Abstract

An ambient mass spectrometry (MS) platform coupling resistive Joule heating thermal desorption (JHTD) and direct analysis in real time (DART) was implemented for the analysis of inorganic nitrite, nitrate, chlorate, and perchlorate salts. The resistive heating component generated discrete and rapid heating ramps and elevated temperatures, up to approximately 400 °C s−1 and 750 °C, by passing a few amperes of DC current through a nichrome wire. JHTD enhanced the utility and capabilities of traditional DART-MS for the trace detection of previously difficult to detect inorganic compounds. A partial factorial design of experiments (DOE) was implemented for the systematic evaluation of five system parameters. A base set of conditions for JHTD-DART-MS was derived from this evaluation, demonstrating sensitive detection of a range of inorganic oxidizer salts, down to single nanogram levels. DOE also identified JHTD filament current and in-source collision induced dissociation (CID) energy as inducing the greatest effect on system response. Tuning of JHTD current provided a method for controlling the relative degrees of thermal desorption and thermal decomposition. Furthermore, in-source CID provided manipulation of adduct and cluster fragmentation, optimizing the detection of molecular anion species. Finally, the differential thermal desorption nature of the JHTD-DART platform demonstrated efficient desorption and detection of organic and inorganic explosive mixtures, with each desorbing at its respective optimal temperature.

Graphical abstract: DART-MS analysis of inorganic explosives using high temperature thermal desorption

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
31 Mar 2017
Accepted
04 May 2017
First published
04 May 2017

Anal. Methods, 2017,9, 4988-4996
Article type
Paper

DART-MS analysis of inorganic explosives using high temperature thermal desorption

T. P. Forbes, E. Sisco, M. Staymates and G. Gillen, Anal. Methods, 2017, 9, 4988
DOI: 10.1039/C7AY00867H

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