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Title: In-situ mass spectrometry analysis under ambient conditions
Author: Jjunju, F. P. M.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6425 1204
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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Mass Spectrometry (MS) is an important analytical tool in the identification and quantification of a wide range of samples, primarily because of its speed, sensitivity, selectivity and versatility in analysing, gases, solids and liquids. MS is an interdisciplinary analytical tool, impacting many areas of science from physics, through chemistry, to biology. However MS is mainly limited to laboratory settings due to the high vacuum requirement needed for ion generation and processing. The main theme of this work is the development of ionisation methods that enable ion generation and processing under ambient conditions in the open air outside of the laboratory for in-situ applications. To that end, it is also important that ions are generated and processed with little or no extensive sample preparation steps required. In this work the development of two ambient ionisation methods: desorption atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation (DAPCI) and paper spray (PS) ionisation and their application for in-situ MS analysis is demonstrated. A DAPCI handheld ion source version based on DAPCI was developed to ignite a corona discharge in air and operates for up to 12 h continuously using only 12 V battery. Both DAPCI and PS ambient ionisation methods were implemented for in-situ MS analysis and were used to detect trace amounts (< ng) of different classes of chemical compounds (i.e hydrocarbons, explosives corrosion inhibitors and metaldehyde in waters samples); this was achieved rapidly (i.e. less than 1 minute) with little or no sample preparation in the open air. Both ambient ionisation methods (i.e., DAPCI and PS) were used with either a commercial instrument or with a custom miniature mass spectrometer to identify and characterize traces amounts of petroleum oil hydrocarbons and additives (e.g. quaternary ammonium corrosion inhibitors), and water pollutants (e.g. metaldehyde) with high sensitivity and selectivity. The handheld DAPCI and PS methods were also applied to the in-situ direct analysis of explosives. Good performance was achieved with the miniaturised instrument giving detection limits within an order of magnitude to those achieved using a benchtop commercial instrument. The results reported in this thesis should be of importance to those interested in ambient ionisation mass spectrometry, miniature mass spectrometry, in-situ MS analysis, oilfield chemical analysis, homeland and border security agencies and environmental monitoring.
Supervisor: Taylor, S. T. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral