2015 Volume 4 Issue 1 Pages A0038
We previously reported on the development of a portable mass spectrometer for the onsite screening of illicit drugs, but our previous sampling system could only be used for liquid samples. In this study, we report on an attempt to develop a probe heating method that also permits solid samples to be analyzed using a portable mass spectrometer. An aluminum rod is used as the sampling probe. The powdered sample is affixed to the sampling probe or a droplet of sample solution is placed on the tip of the probe and dried. The probe is then placed on a heater to vaporize the sample. The vapor is then introduced into the portable mass spectrometer and analyzed. With the heater temperature set to 130°C, the developed system detected 1 ng of methamphetamine, 1 ng of amphetamine, 3 ng of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, 1 ng of 3,4-methylenedioxyamphetamine, and 0.3 ng of cocaine. Even from mixtures consisting of clove powder and methamphetamine powder, methamphetamine ions were detected by tandem mass spectrometry. The developed probe heating method provides a simple method for the analysis of solid samples. A portable mass spectrometer incorporating this method would thus be useful for the onsite screening of illicit drugs.