Nitrogen oxides as dopants for the detection of aromatic compounds with ion mobility spectrometry

Urszula Gaik, Mika Sillanpää, Zygfryd Witkiewicz, Jarosław Puton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Limits of detection (LODs) in ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) strictly depend on ionization of the analyte. Especially challenging is ionization of compounds with relatively low proton affinity (PA) such as aromatic compounds. To change the course of ion-molecule reactions and enhance the performance of the IMS spectrometer, substances called dopants are introduced into the carrier gas. In this work, we present the results of studies of detection using nitrogen oxides (NOx) dopants. Three aromatic compounds, benzene, toluene, toluene diisocyanate and, for comparison, two compounds with high PA, dimethyl methylphosphonate (DMMP) and triethyl phosphate (TEP), were selected as analytes. The influence of water vapour on these analyses was also studied. Experiments were carried out with a generator of gas mixtures that allowed for the simultaneous introduction of three substances into the carrier gas. The experiments showed that the use of NOx dopants significantly decreases LODs for aromatic compounds and does not affect the detection of compounds with high PA. The water vapour significantly disturbs the detection of aromatic compounds; however, doping with NOx allows to reduce the effect of humidity. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3223-3231
Number of pages9
JournalAnalytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aromatic compounds
  • Dopants
  • Ion mobility spectrometry
  • Nitrogen oxides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry


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