Journal Published Online: 01 November 2004
Volume 49, Issue 6

Trace Analysis of Peroxide Explosives by High Performance Liquid Chromatography-Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (HPLC-APCI-MS/MS) for Forensic Applications



An HPLC-APCI-MS(/MS) method for the (trace) analysis of the most commonly encountered peroxide explosives, hexamethylenetriperoxidediamine (HMTD) and triacetonetriperoxide (TATP), has been developed. With this method, HMTD and TATP have been analyzed in the same run. (Pseudo-)molecular ions of these peroxides have been obtained as base peak under the same condition. A series of product ions was produced from these pseudo-molecular ions ([HMTD-1]+ and [TATP + NH4]+) in the MS/MS analysis. We also pioneeredin showing that TATP molecular ion [TATP-H]+ can be observed with HPLC-MS/MS. The limit of detection for HMTD and TATP was 0.26 and 3.3 ng, respectively, on column by HPLC-MS in the Full Scan mode and 0.08 and 0.8, respectively, by HPLC-APCI-MS/MS in Selected Reaction Monitoring (single ass unit) mode. The method presented has been applied successfully for the identification of peroxides in the bulk solid state (powder sample), as well as in post-blast extracts originating from a forensic case. For the post-blast extracts, the use of tandem MS has been shown clearly to be of crucial importance for the identification and detection of the peroxide explosives.

Author Information

Xu, X
Netherlands Forensic Institute, The Netherlands
van de Craats, AM
Netherlands Forensic Institute, The Netherlands
Kok, EM
Netherlands Forensic Institute, The Netherlands
de Bruyn, PCAM
Netherlands Forensic Institute, The Netherlands
Pages: 7
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Stock #: JFS2003440
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS2003440