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Proceedings Paper

Contraband drug surface chemistry at nanogram levels
Author(s): Juliana Homstead; Edward J. Poziomek
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Paper Abstract

The surface chemistry of contraband drugs is very important in many detection techniques. It is also important in choosing materials for sampling and sample handling. The chemical nature of surfaces may facilitate drug decomposition or serve to stabilize the drugs. We have developed a simple technique to study the chemistry of contraband drugs such as cocaine HCl at nanogram levels. The normal operating modes of an IONSCAN 400 ion mobility spectrometer were adjusted to allow the chemistry of the drugs to be examined in the sample chamber of the spectrometer. For example, a membrane with deposited drug is held in the sample chamber at a specified temperature up to 20 seconds with no air flow. An ON-OFF valve was placed in- line just before the carrier gas enters the desorption chamber where samples are heated. This modification allows the gas flow to be manually turned off while the sample is being heated. We have used this technique to examine the pyrolysis of cocaine hydrochloride under a variety of conditions. At the end of the designated reaction time, the air flow is turned on allowing the reaction products and any starting materials to flow into the spectrometer for analysis. This technique has allowed studies of the stability of the drugs at various temperatures on different surfaces. For example, evidence was obtained of cocaine HCl decomposition at 75 degrees for 5 seconds using Teflon as the support material. The use of this technique has also assisted us in choosing materials for pyrolysis studies in which the goal is the decompose target drugs quickly and efficiently for detection applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 1997
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 2937, Chemistry- and Biology-Based Technologies for Contraband Detection, (17 February 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.266777
Show Author Affiliations
Juliana Homstead, Old Dominion Univ. (United States)
Edward J. Poziomek, Old Dominion Univ. (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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