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Proceedings Paper

Field ion spectrometry: a new technology for cocaine and heroin detection
Author(s): Byron L. Carnahan; Stephen Day; Viktor Kouznetsov; Alexandre Tarassov
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Paper Abstract

Field ion spectrometry, also known as transverse field compensation ion mobility spectrometry, is a new technique for trace gas analysis that can be applied to the detection of cocaine and heroin. Its principle is based on filtering ion species according to the functional dependence of their mobilities with electric field strength. Field ion spectrometry eliminates the gating electrodes needed in conventional IMS to pulse ions into the spectrometer; instead, ions are injected in to the spectrometer and reach the detector continuously, resulting in improved sensitivity. The technique enables analyses that are difficult with conventional constant field strength ion mobility spectrometers. We have shown that a filed ion spectrometer can selectively detect the vapors from cocaine and heroin emitted from both their base and hydrochloride forms. The estimated volumetric limits of detection are in the low pptv range, based on testing with standardized drug vapor generation systems. The spectrometer can detect cocaine base in the vapor phase, at concentrations well below its estimated 100 pptv vapor pressure equivalent at 20 degrees C. This paper describes the underlying principles of field ion spectrometry in relation to narcotic drug detection, and recent results obtained for cocaine and heroin. The work has been sponsored in part by the United States Advanced Research Projects Agency under contract DAAB10-95C-0004, for the DOD Counterdrug Technology Development Program.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 1997
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 2937, Chemistry- and Biology-Based Technologies for Contraband Detection, (17 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.266764
Show Author Affiliations
Byron L. Carnahan, Mine Safety Appliances Co. (United States)
Stephen Day, Mine Safety Appliances Co. (United States)
Viktor Kouznetsov, Mine Safety Appliances Co. (United States)
Alexandre Tarassov, Mine Safety Appliances Co. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2937:
Chemistry- and Biology-Based Technologies for Contraband Detection
Pierre Pilon; Steve Burmeister, Editor(s)

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