Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Chemistry
Christopher C. Mulligan
OPTIMIZATION OF AMBIENT IONIZATION METHODOLOGIES FOR FIELD INVESTIGATIONS UTILIZING PORTABLE MASS SPECTROMETRIC INSTRUMENTATION
In the late nineteenth century, Sir J.J. Thompson’s experiment on cathode ray tubes led to the ultimate invention of the mass spectrometer. Mass spectrometry (MS) is now recognized as a highly selective and sensitive analytical tool with a myriad of applications. To date, most MS systems are better suited for laboratory usage. However, much effort is being place in developing instrumentation and methodologies for field applications. Correspondingly, studies must be conducted to assess the suitability of instrument usage in the field. In recent years, a relatively new class of ionization techniques, ambient ionization, is gaining much popularity. In conjugation with portable mass spectrometry, these techniques have the potential for rapid, on-site analyte detection from samples in their native states.
The objective of this research is to investigate the ruggedness of a portable mass spectrometer, the FLIR Systems AI-MS 1.2, and optimization of ambient ionization sources to determine their combined reliability for field applications. Instrument ruggedness was demonstrated by subjecting it to changes in temperature and relative humidity while observing its response to analyte detection. The robust instrument, coupled with ambient ionization sources, was employed for on-site forensic and environmental analysis. Paper spray ionization (PSI) was explored for rapid detection of synthetic cannabinoids but prompted an optimization study involving the employed spray solvent system to enhance reliability of use. Paper cone spray ionization (PCSI) was investigated for qualitative analysis of agrochemical contaminants in soil, an application area that has not been successfully reported via ambient MS methods. Proof-of-principle investigations into temporal profiling of agrochemical degradation was also examined.
KEYWORDS: Mass Spectrometry, Portable Instruments, Ambient Ionization, Paper Spray Ionization, Paper Cone Spray Ionization, Forensics, Drugs of Abuse, Synthetic Cannabinoids, Crime Scene Investigation, Agrochemicals
Mukta, Shahnaz, "Optimization of Ambient Ionization Methodologies for Field Investigations Utilizing Portable Mass Spectrometric Instrumentation" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 1027.
Available for download on Thursday, March 15, 2029