Direct quantification of chemical warfare agents and related compounds at low ppt levels

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Author(s) Wolf, Jan-Christoph, Schär, Martin, Siegenthaler, Peter, Zenobi, Renato
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title Direct quantification of chemical warfare agents and related compounds at low ppt levels
Subtitle Comparing active capillary DBDI and SESI mass spectrometry
Author(s) Wolf, Jan-Christoph
Schär, Martin
Siegenthaler, Peter
Zenobi, Renato
Journal or Series Title Analytical chemistry
Volume Number 87
Issue Number 1
Start Page 723
End Page 729
ISSN 0003-2700
Publisher American Chemical Society
Publication Place Washington, DC
Publication Date 2014
Keyword(s) Active capillary
Chemical warfare agents
Plasma ionization
Abstract A novel active capillary dielectric barrier discharge plasma ionization (DBDI) technique for mass spectrometry is applied to the direct detection of thirteen chemical warfare related compounds, including sarin, and compared to secondary electrospray ionization (SESI) in terms of selectivity and sensitivity. The investigated compounds include an intact chemical warfare agent and structurally related molecules, hydrolysis products and/or precursors of highly toxic nerve (G-series, V-series and “new” nerve agents), blistering and incapacitating warfare agents. Well-defined analyte gas phase concentrations were generated by a pressure-assisted nanospray with consecutive thermal evaporation and dilution. Identification was achieved by selected reaction monitoring (SRM). The most abundant fragment ion intensity of each compound was used for quantification. For DBDI and SESI absolute gas phase detection limits in the low ppt range (in MS/MS mode) were achieved for all compounds investigated. Although the sensitivity of both methods was comparable, the active capillary DBDI sensitivity was found to be dependant on the applied AC voltage, thus enabling direct tuning of the sensitivity and the in-source fragmentation, which may become a key feature in terms of field applicability. Our findings underline the applicability of DBDI and SESI for the direct, sensitive detection and quantification of several CWA types and their degradation products. Furthermore, they suggest the use of DBDI in combination with handheld instruments for CWAs on-site monitoring.
DOI 10.1021/ac5035874
Additional Notes Received 24 September 2014, Accepted 26 November 2014, Published 26 November 2014
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03430
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NEBIS System Number 000005465
Source Database ID FORM-1417709429
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  author = "Wolf, Jan-Christoph and Sch{\"{a}}r, Martin and Siegenthaler, Peter and Zenobi, Renato",
  title = "{D}irect quantification of chemical warfare agents and related compounds at low ppt levels: {C}omparing active capillary {D}{B}{D}{I} and {S}{E}{S}{I} mass spectrometry",
  journal = "Analytical chemistry",
  year = 2014,
  volume = "87",
  number = "1",
  pages = "723--729",

E-Citations record created: Thu, 04 Dec 2014, 16:10:34 CET