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Proceedings Paper

Field applications of ion-mobility spectrometry
Author(s): Patricia A. Brown
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Paper Abstract

Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) is an excellent tool for detection of controlled substances under field conditions. Plasmagrams and tables showing the results of field applications will be discussed. Residues of drugs, such as cocaine and heroin, can be left anywhere including vehicles, boats, and houses. In houses, the carpets, walls, and floors are good locations for residues to adhere. Individual clothing can also be contaminated with drug residue. Vehicles that are suspected of having previously smuggled illegal substances can be vacuumed and screened. Tablets that look similar and respond the same when screened with the Marquis reagent can be differentiated by IMS. With Southern California being the 'methamphetamine capital of the world' and the resurgence of phencyclidine, IMS has proven extremely valuable in the screening of abandoned clandestine laboratory sites and vehicles in which the clandestine laboratories; chemicals and glassware were transported. IMS is very responsive to ephedrine/pseudophedrine, a precursor of methamphetamine and 1-piperidinocyclohexanecarbonitrile, an intermediate of phencyclidine. Once residues are detected, vacuum samples, and/or methanol wipes are collected and analyzed at the DEA Laboratory for confirmation of the suspected substance using GC-IRD or Mass Spectrometry.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 1997
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2937, Chemistry- and Biology-Based Technologies for Contraband Detection, (17 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.266770
Show Author Affiliations
Patricia A. Brown, Drug Enforcement Administration (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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