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Membrane inlet mass spectrometry for homeland security and forensic applications

TitleMembrane inlet mass spectrometry for homeland security and forensic applications
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsGiannoukos S., Brkic B., Taylor S., France N.
JournalJ Am Soc Mass Spectrom
Date PublishedFeb
ISBN Number1879-1123 (Electronic)1044-0305 (Linking)

A man-portable membrane inlet mass spectrometer has been built and tested to detect and monitor characteristic odors emitted from the human body and also from threat substances. In each case, a heated membrane sampling probe was used. During human scent monitoring experiments, data were obtained for inorganic gases and volatile organic compounds emitted from human breath and sweat in a confined space. Volatile emissions were detected from the human body at low ppb concentrations. Experiments with compounds associated with narcotics, explosives, and chemical warfare agents were conducted for a range of membrane types. Test compounds included methyl benzoate (odor signature of cocaine), piperidine (precursor in clandestine phencyclidine manufacturing processes), 2-nitrotoluene (breakdown product of TNT), cyclohexanone (volatile signature of plastic explosives), dimethyl methylphosphonate (used in sarin and soman nerve agent production), and 2-chloroethyl ethyl sulfide (simulant compound for sulfur mustard gas). Gas phase calibration experiments were performed allowing sub-ppb LOD to be established. The results showed excellent linearity versus concentration and rapid membrane response times.


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