Liquid Chromatographic Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometric Characterization of Simulants, Hydrolysed Tabun and VX Using Ion Mobility and Tandem Mass Spectrometric Data


  1. D'Agostino, P.A.
  2. Chenier, C.L.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
A Synapt HDMS quadrupole time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometer was used for the first time to acquire both ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) and tandem mass spectrometry (MSn where n = 2 or 3) data for chemical defence compounds following liquid chromatographic (LC) sample introduction. LC-MS screening was used to establish retention time windows for significant sample components prior to the acquisition of LC-IMS-MSn data. Two organophosphorus chemical warfare agent simulants, triethyl phosphate and tributyl phosphate, were initially used to develop a broad spectrum analytical approach for multi-component sample characterization by LC-IMS-MSn. Unique ion mobility profiles and high resolution MSn data, often referred to as time-aligned parallel (TAP) fragmentation data, enabled confirmation of both simulants during a single analysis. The LC-IMS-MSn methodology was then applied to multi-component chemical warfare agent samples that had undergone hydrolysis. Tabun (GA) and O-ethyl S-[2- (diisopropylamino)ethyl] methylphosphonothiolate (VX) hydrolysis products and a number of related compounds were confirmed at the nanogram level. Compounds were differentiated on the basis of their acquired IMS profiles and full scanning, high resolution MSn data. MSn data for each compound contained evidence of the [M+H]+ ion and up to nine characteristic product ions. Application of the developed methodolog

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Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-TM-2011-001 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Feb 2011
Number of Pages
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