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11 September 2003 Improved detection of landmine components: using TEEM-GC-MS for detection of TNT and RDX in soil and other complex matrices
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Nitrogen-rich compounds have a large cross section for resonance electron capture at very low incident electron energies. Although this fact has been known for a number of years, full benefit of this ubiquitous property of NOX compounds for explosives detection studies has not been fully implemented. Here we report detection of picogram to femtogram levels of TNT, 2,4-DNT and RDX in soil samples and other complex matrices. Toluene extracts as well as thermally desorbed GC-MS analyses were conducted using a JEOL GCmate II coupled to a Tunable-Energy Electron Monochromator (TEEM). Use of TEEM-GC/MS permitted rapid sweeping of electron energy and tuning of the electron monochromator and ion source while monitoring the electron capture resonance in real time. In addition, Solid-Phase Micro-Extraction (SPME) was used to selectively preconcentrate analytes prior conventional GC/MS analysis. The SPME protocol was able to screen explosives in spiked water, in concentrations below the reported detection limits. Standard solutions of TNT were prepared in the range of interest (0.5-10 ppm) and analyzed using a GC/MSD direct injection. Potential use of developed methodology in landmine environmental studies and sensors development will be discussed.
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Sandra N. Correa, Maritza De Jesus, Nairmen Mina, Miguel E. Castro, Alejandro Blanco, Samuel P. Hernandez, Robert B. Cody, and James A. Laramee "Improved detection of landmine components: using TEEM-GC-MS for detection of TNT and RDX in soil and other complex matrices", Proc. SPIE 5089, Detection and Remediation Technologies for Mines and Minelike Targets VIII, (11 September 2003);


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