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A Low-Cost, Simplified Platform of Interchangeable, Ambient Ionization Sources for Rapid, Forensic Evidence Screening on Portable Mass Spectrometric Instrumentation

NCJ Number
Instruments Volume: 2 Issue: 2 Dated: 2018
Date Published
9 pages
This article describes a centralized system that was developed for portable mass spectrometer (MS) systems that incorporates modular, rapidly-interchangeable ionization sources composed of low-cost, commercially available parts.

Portable mass spectrometers (MS) are becoming more prevalent due to improved instrumentation, commercialization, and the robustness of new ionization methodologies. To increase utility towards diverse field-based applications, there is an inherent need for rugged ionization source platforms that are simple, yet robust towards analytical scenarios that may arise. Ambient ionization methodologies have evolved to target specific real-world problems and fulfill requirements of the analysis at hand. Ambient ionization techniques continue to advance towards higher performance, with specific sources showing variable proficiency depending on application area. To realize the full potential and applicability of ambient ionization methods, a selection of sources may be more prudent, showing a need for a low-cost, flexible ionization source platform. The current article reports design considerations for a suite of ambient ionization sources that can be crafted with minimal machining or customization. Representative spectral data are included to demonstrate applicability for field processing of forensic evidence. Although this platform is demonstrated on portable instrumentation, retrofitting to lab-scale MS systems is anticipated. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2018