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Investigations of proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry for applications in organophosphate detection and breath analysis

Brown, Philip Andrew (2012)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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The reduced electric field dependence of a series of twelve saturated alcohols was investigated with a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer, PTR-MS. Fragmentation reactions were observed for all but one compound and the dependence of this fragmentation was recorded as a function of reduced electric field. A number of common fragment ions were observed corresponding to carbocations. Effects on the branching ratios from the hollow cathode emission current were also observed and investigated.

The reaction of dimethyl methylphosphonate, DMMP in a PTR-MS was studied, along with further chemical weapon simulants. The reaction with DMMP was investigated to explain a product ion at m/z 111.

The PTR-MS has been used to demonstrate the possibilities of breath analysis in the diagnosis of liver disease. A promising marker may be limonene, observed on the breath of patients suffering from encephalopathy. Further work would be needed to understand the source of this compound before being used for diagnostic purposes. Data are also reported relevant to the repeatability of a breath sample. The sampling repeatability was calculated for isoprene, acetone, methanol, ethanol and monoterpene. The repeatability for each compound was found to be affected by the intensity of the measured ion and the compound’s solubility.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Mayhew, Christopher
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Department:School of Physics and Astronomy
Subjects:QC Physics
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3839
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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