A technique was developed to improve the particle collection efficiency of commercially-available collection swabs. Improving the particle collection efficiency can provide a better chance of detection when screening for trace explosives particles. A silicone adhesive was added to Teflon-coated fiberglass swabs to aid in collecting trace levels of contamination from surfaces. Since the swabs are typically used for IMS analysis, it is important for them to have little background interference when heated. Results show that the adhesive swabs had a much higher particle collection efficiency compared to the untreated swabs, without negatively interfering with the IMS analysis. It was also found that the adhesive swabs could be reused 10 times without significant reduction in collection capability. While it is possible that the adhesive swabs may not be suitable for all surface types due to material being left behind, the benefits of higher particle collection efficiency are extremely promising.
Citation: Analytical Methods
Pub Type: Journals
ion mobility spectrometry, particle collection efficiency, trace detection