Lifetimes and Decomposition Rates of Explosive Gas Ions in Air at Ambient Pressure

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Project Description

Ion mobility spectrometers used as trace detectors of explosives at airports worldwide today, provide high-speed response (<8s) to nanogram and sub-nanogram amounts of high explosives. The performance of these instruments is governed by a combination of gas phase ion-molecule chemistry and characterization of ions for mobility in a drift tube at ambient pressure. Significant deficiencies exist in both the technology and in our understandings of principles, limiting the practice of trace detection with the current generation of analyzers.
The overall objective of this work has been to clarify the central and fundamental issue in ion-based methods of explosive determinations, namely, the stability and lifetime of ions of explosives in air at ambient pressure.

Project Leader
  • Gary A. Eiceman
    New Mexico State University

Students Currently Involved in Project
  • Maneeshin Rajapakse
    New Mexico State University