29 May 2014 An excimer-based FAIMS detector for detection of ultra-low concentration of explosives
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Abstract
A new method of explosives detection based on the field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS) and ionization by an excimer emitter has been developed jointly with a portable detector. The excimer emitter differs from usual UVionizing lamps by mechanism of emitting, energy and spectral characteristics. The developed and applied Ar2-excimer emitter has the working volume of 1 cm3, consuming power 0.6 W, the energy of photons of about 10 eV (λ=126 nm), the FWHM radiation spectrum of 10 nm and emits more than 1016 photon per second that is two orders of magnitude higher than UV-lamp of the same working volume emits. This also exceeds by an order of magnitude the quantity of photons per second for 10-Hz solid state YAG:Nd3+ - laser of 1mJ pulse energy at λ=266 nm that is also used to ionize the analyte. The Ar2-excimer ionizes explosives by direct ionization mechanism and through ionization of organic impurities. The developed Ar2-excimer-based ion source does not require cooling due to low level discharge current of emitter and is able to work with no repair more than 10000 hrs. The developed excimer-based explosives detector can analyze both vapors and traces of explosives. The FAIMS spectra of the basic types of explosives like trinitrotoluene (TNT), cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine (RDX), dinitrotoluene (DNT), cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine (HMX), nitroglycerine (NG), pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) under Ar2-excimer ionization are presented. The detection limit determined for TNT vapors equals 1x10-14 g/cm3, for TNT traces- 100 pg.
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Alexander A. Chistyakov, Gennadii E. Kotkovskii, Alexey V. Sychev, Anatoly N. Perederiy, V. L. Budovich, D. V. Budovich, "An excimer-based FAIMS detector for detection of ultra-low concentration of explosives", Proc. SPIE 9072, Detection and Sensing of Mines, Explosive Objects, and Obscured Targets XIX, 907211 (29 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2049823; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2049823
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