Desorption Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (DESI-MS) Analysis of Organophosphorus Chemical Warfare Agents – Rapid Acquisition of Time-Aligned Parallel (TAP) Fragmentation Data


  1. D'Agostino, P.A.
  2. Chenier, C.L.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
Desorption electrospray ionization-mass spectrometric (DESI-MS) analysis has been applied to the direct analysis of chemical warfare agents spiked onto a variety of sample media including soils, water, food products and indoor samples that could be collected during a forensic investigation following a chemical incident. Solid phase microextration (SPME) fibers were used in this investigation to sample the headspace above five organophosphorus chemical warfare agents, O-isopropyl methylphosphonofluoridate (sarin, GB), O-pinacolyl methylphosphonofluoridate (soman, GD), O-ethyl N,N-dimethylphosphoramidocyanidate (tabun, GA), O-cyclohexyl methylphosphonofluoridate (cyclohexyl sarin, GF) and O-ethyl S-2- diisopropylaminoethyl methylphosphonothiolate (VX). The exposed SPME fibers were introduced directly into a modified Z-spray electrospray (ESI) source, enabling rapid and safe DESI-MS analysis of the toxic chemical warfare agents. Time-aligned parallel (TAP) fragmentation data, which provides both ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and tandem mass spectrometry (MSn, where n=2 or 3) data for an individual compound, were acquired for the first time for organophosphorus chemical warfare agents. Unique ion mobility profiles and up to six full scanning MSn spectra, containing the [M+H] + ion and up to seven diagnostic product ions, were acquired for each chemical warfare agent during DESI-IMS-MSn analysis of the exposed SPME fiber analysis. A ra

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Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-TM-2010-047 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Jun 2010
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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