April 1st 2010
A person-portable gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC–MS) system employing a toroidal ion trap mass spectrometry (TMS) detector was used to analyze chemical threat related compounds. Introduction of analytes into the heated injector of the instrument was by solid-phase microextraction (SPME), and fast resistive heating of a low thermal mass (LTM) gas chromatography column assembly provided rapid analysis times. Methodology for positive identification of chemical threats can combine chromatographic retention time, comparison to traditional electron ionization mass spectral libraries, and observation of expected pseudomolecular ions produced through self-chemical ionization. Methods are discussed for sampling by SPME with GC–MS analysis in the field to measure airborne analyte concentrations.