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Reported for the first time are receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves constructed to describe the performance of a sorbent-coated disk, planar solid phase microextraction (PSPME) unit for non-contact sampling of a variety of volatiles. The PSPME is coupled to ion mobility spectrometers (IMSs) for the detection of volatile chemical markers associated with the presence of smokeless powders, model systems of explosives containing diphenylamine (DPA), 2,4-dinitrotoluene (2,4-DNT) and nitroglycerin (NG) as the target analytes. The performance of the PSPME-IMS was compared with the widely accepted solid-phase microextraction (SPME), coupled to a GC-MS. A set of optimized sampling conditions for different volume containers (1–45 L) with various sample amounts of explosives, were studied in replicates (n = 30) to determine the true positive rates (TPR) and false positive detection rates (FPR) for the different scenarios. These studies were obtained in order to construct the ROC curves for two IMS instruments (a bench-top and field-portable system) and a bench top GC-MS system in low and high clutter environments. Both static and dynamic PSPME sampling were studied in which 10–500 mg quantities of smokeless powders were detected within 10 min of static sampling and 1 min of dynamic sampling.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

doi: 10.3390/s131216867

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