Development and application of an ion mobility spectometer - quadrupole mass spectometer instrument

Howse, David Christopher (2015). Development and application of an ion mobility spectometer - quadrupole mass spectometer instrument. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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The aim of the project described in this thesis was to develop a system in house that would be capable of providing a technique to enhance the reliability of detection of threat agents such as compounds used for chemical warfare and explosives. This was to be done by using a combination of an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) in tandem with a quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS). When meeting these requirements, the latest electronics and software were incorporated in the instrumentation to maximise sensitivity and flexibility.
By attaching a QMS to an IMS, an extra dimension in specificity is gained whereby a more positive identification of a compound is made based on m/z values, thereby providing further information on the ion-molecule processes taking place in the IMS. Flexibility in operation was achieved by using the graphical programming language LabVIEW for the software aspects, allowing program development and modification to be made more quickly than would be the case than if a procedural language such as C++ had been used.
A special ‘pulse to analogue’ converter developed during the project provided increased sensitivity and resolution over earlier systems in regard to obtaining selected mass mobility spectra.
Proof-of-principle measurements are provided that demonstrate the capabilities of the newly developed IMS-QMS system in both positive and negative ion modes of operation, with some results obtained that are consistent with those from previous investigations.
Data obtained for various chemicals not previously investigated are also provided.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
School or Department: School of Physics and Astronomy
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Q Science > QD Chemistry


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