Current methods for the detection of tear gas residues require extensive sample preparation before spectral measurement. This contrasts with the present work in which a new detection method for the active ingredients of CN (α-chloroacetophenone), CS (2-chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile), and pepper sprays (capsaicin and crude pepper extracts) based on ambient temperature, atmospheric pressure ion mobility spectrometry has been developed. The minimum determinable limits were: α-chloroacetophenone 0.1 μg, 2-chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile 25 mg, and cayenne pepper 5 mg. These limits were dependent on the vapor pressure, proton affinity and electronegativity of the target molecule.
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