Application of Electron-Attachment Reactions to Enhance Selectivity of Electron-Capture Detector for Nitroaromatic Explosives

Mark Gehrke
Shubhender Kapila, Missouri University of Science and Technology
V. J. Flanigan, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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The differences in the extent of electron-attachment reactions between thermal electrons and selected classes of organic molecules with high electron affinities were investigated. the investigations showed that interactions of thermal electrons with nitroaromatic compounds lead to the formation of neutral products with very low electron affinities. by contrast, a number of other analytes with high electron affinities such as polyhalogenated organic compounds, lead to products with high electron affinities. This difference was exploited to differentiate between nitroaromatic and polychlorinated organic compounds with a tandem arrangement consisting of two electron-capture detectors connected in series with an electron-attachment reactor.