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Determination of the Ionization Potentials of Security-Relevant Substances with Single Photon Ionization Mass Spectrometry Using Synchrotron Radiation

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Abstract:

Several ionization potentials (IPs) of security relevant substances were determined with single photon ionization time of flight mass spectrometry (SPI-TOFMS) using monochromatized synchrotron radiation from the "Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung" (BESSY). In detail, the IPs of nine explosives and related compounds, seven narcotics and narcotics precursors, and one chemical warfare agent (CWA) precursor were determined, whereas six IPs already known from the literature were verified correctly. From seven other substances, including one CWA precursor, the IP could not be determined as the molecule ion peak could not be detected. For these substances the appearance energy (AE) of a main fragment was determined. The analyzed security-relevant substances showed IPs significantly below the IPs of common matrix compounds such as nitrogen and oxygen. Therefore, it is possible to find photon energies in between, whereby the molecules of interest can be detected with SPI in very low concentrations due to the shielding of the matrix. All determined IPs except the one of the explosive EGDN were below 10.5 eV. Hence, laser-generated 118 nm photons can be applied for detecting almost all security-relevant substances by, e.g., SPI-TOFMS.

Keywords: APPEARANCE ENERGY; BESSY; CHEMICAL WARFARE AGENTS; CWA PRECURSORS; EXPLOSIVES; IONIZATION POTENTIAL; NARCOTICS; PHOTO IONIZATION EFFICIENCY PLOT; SINGLE PHOTON IONIZATION TIME OF FLIGHT MASS SPECTROMETRY; SPI-TOFMS; SYNCHROTRON RADIATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1366/000370208783575483

Affiliations: 1: Helmholtz Zentrum München—German Research Center for Environmental Health, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany 2: BESSY – Berliner Elektronenspeicherring-Gesellschaft für Synchrotronstrahlung m.b.H. - 12489 Berlin, Germany 3: BKA – Bundeskriminalamt, 65173 Wiesbaden, Germany 4: Helmholtz Zentrum München—German Research Center for Environmental Health, 85764 Neuherberg, Germany; BIfA – Bayerisches Institut für Angewandte Umweltforschung und -technik GmbH, 86167 Augsburg, Germany; University of Augsburg, 86159 Augsburg, Germany

Publication date: February 1, 2008

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