Hand-held mass spectrometer for environmentally relevant analytes using a variety of sampling and ionization methods

Nathaniel L. Sanders, Ewa Sokol, Richard H. Perry, Guangming Huang, Robert J. Noll, Jason S. Duncan, R. Graham Cooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A recently developed hand-held, rectilinear ion trap mass spectrometer, capable of performing in situ analysis, has been evaluated for a variety of environmentally relevant analytes. Different sampling and ionization methods were implemented, demonstrating the considerable versatility of this instrument. A discontinuous (viz. pulsed) atmospheric pressure inlet (DAPI] was used to introduce externallygenerated analyte ions. Nitro compounds were ionized by electrosonic spray ionization (ESSI) yielding the protonated and sodiated forms of the molecular ion, as well as fragment ions. The amines 2,2,6,6- tetramethylpiperidine, triethylamine and 2,6-diphenylpyridine showed low parts per billion (ppb) detection limits. Vapor phase external ionization was used to examine the chemical warfare simulant dimethyl methylphosphonate and the insect repellant N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide. Membrane introduction mass spectrometry (MIMS) was used as the introduction system for hydrophobic analytes using a selectively permeable (polydimethylsiloxane) membrane placed within the vacuum manifold with subsequent ionization of the thermally desorbed neutral compounds inside the ion trap. MIMS allowed the quantitation of trace levels (a few ppb) of fluorinated compounds in the vapor phase. MIMS was also applied to the quantitation of aqueous polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH's) with limits of detection again in the low ppb range for naphthalene, acenaphthene, anthracene and phenanthrene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 26 2010


  • Environmental analysis
  • Handheld mass spectrometer
  • In situ
  • Rectilinear ion trap

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Spectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Hand-held mass spectrometer for environmentally relevant analytes using a variety of sampling and ionization methods'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this