Dynamic planar solid phase microextraction-ion mobility spectrometry for rapid field air sampling and analysis of illicit drugs and explosives

Anal Chem. 2010 Apr 1;82(7):2826-35. doi: 10.1021/ac902785y.


A preconcentration device that targets the volatile chemical signatures associated with illicit drugs and explosives (high and low) has been designed to fit in the inlet of an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS). This is the first reporting of a fast and sensitive method for dynamic sampling of large volumes of air using planar solid phase microextraction (PSPME) incorporating a high surface area for absorption of analytes onto a sol-gel polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) coating for direct thermal desorption into an IMS. This device affords high extraction efficiencies due to strong retention properties at ambient temperature, resulting in the detection of analyte concentrations in the parts per trillion range when as low as 3.5 L of air are sampled over the course of 10 s (absolute mass detection of less than a nanogram). Dynamic PSPME was used to sample the headspace over the following: 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) tablets resulting in the detection of 12-40 ng of piperonal, high explosives (Pentolite) resulting in the detection of 0.6 ng of 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), and low explosives (several smokeless powders) resulting in the detection of 26-35 ng of 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) and 11-74 ng of diphenylamine (DPA).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Air / analysis
  • Benzaldehydes / analysis
  • Benzaldehydes / isolation & purification
  • Benzodioxoles / analysis
  • Benzodioxoles / isolation & purification
  • Diphenylamine / analysis
  • Diphenylamine / isolation & purification
  • Explosive Agents / analysis*
  • Explosive Agents / isolation & purification
  • Illicit Drugs / analysis*
  • Illicit Drugs / isolation & purification
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / analysis
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine / isolation & purification
  • Solid Phase Microextraction / methods*
  • Spectrophotometry / methods*
  • Trinitrotoluene / analysis
  • Trinitrotoluene / isolation & purification


  • Benzaldehydes
  • Benzodioxoles
  • Explosive Agents
  • Illicit Drugs
  • Trinitrotoluene
  • Diphenylamine
  • piperonal
  • N-Methyl-3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine