In this study, Delta13C values of six cocaine samples were identified and classified using a single quadrupole mass spectrometer and an isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) as simultaneous gas chromatography detectors.
The instrument modification is simple to use and is useful (1) when the sample is of limited size or can only be injected once, (2) to help identify peaks in a complicated IRMS chromatogram, and (3) to help differentiate very simple systems when impurity profiling is not possible. The EI-MS confirmed the identity of cocaine in each sample. The IRMS data distinguished 12 of the 15 possible pair-wise comparisons at the 95-percent CL. Three samples could not be differentiated by their Delta13C ratios for cocaine. ANOVA demonstrated that the measurement variance was consistently larger than the sample variance. As the Delta13C values clearly show, this technique enables the exclusion of a potential common source even when two samples have otherwise identical chemical and physical properties. (Published Abstract)