Optimizing Accu Time-of-Flight/Direct Analysis in Real Time for Explosive Residue Analysis
Joseph R. Swider, Ph.D.
Journal of Forensic Sciences - October 3, 2013
The use of a direct analysis in real time (DART) mass spectrometer (MS) instrument was optimized for 22 compounds of organic explosive residues to provide a guide for DART-MS users in rapid screening of explosive compounds. Samples were introduced as neat solutions and sequential dilutions to determine optimal instrument conditions and lowest concentration detectable. Most compounds were optimized to 250°C in the negative ion mode, and several compounds benefited from the addition of a chloride dopant from methylene chloride (amino-dinitrotoluenes, RDX, EGDN, and PETN). Few compounds were more sensitive in the positive ion mode (TEGDN, DEGDN, HNS, and DMNB). Mixtures of compounds were detected using clean room wipes, directly from their surfaces and from subsequent extractions. Compounds from the mixtures were also successfully detected in soil and from swipes of spiked surfaces. The instrument showed merit in detection of pg/μL solutions for most of the compounds and among the substrates tested.