The detection of explosives is of vital importance in forensic applications and in preventing criminal or terrorist activity. The analytical detection of explosives on surfaces is normally done by using solvent extractions or wipes and chromatography or chromatography combined with mass spectrometry. This is inefficient because solvent extractions and wipes only result in a partial transfer of material from the surface into the sampling material. Furthermore, the chromatographic analysis can be time-consuming and requires the use of disposable solvents (an environmental concern).
The JEOL AccuTOF™ with Direct Analysis in Real Time (DART™) has demonstrated the capability to detect both volatile and involatile explosives on surfaces such as plastic, cloth, concrete, glass, cardboard, metal, and more. No wipes or solvent extractions are required. The method is instantaneous, environmentally friendly, and does not require solvents. An example is shown in this application note.