Rapid and sensitive detection of chemical explosives using ambient mass spectrometry

Huanwen Chen, Haiwei Gu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Explosives are playing an important role in human society, especially for peaceful use. However, the threat due to explosive abuse has significantly increased in the past decade; a series of terrorist attacks using explosives have caused much tragedy to the public. The strong desire for public safety therefore raised the urgency for the further improvement of the currently existing explosive detection technologies. In the review, a number of principal approaches in explosive detection were discussed, focused on ambient mass spectrometry. Ambient ionization techniques include several newly developed ionization methods, such as desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) and extractive electrospray ionization (EESI), which can be used in the direct measurement of explosives with minimal sample pretreatment. They have the extraordinary advantages of rapid analysis and matrix tolerance. Ambient mass spectrometry is also a sensitive, selective, and quantitative method with the compatibility in field analysis for explosive detection. Further examination of ambient mass spectrometry against the requirements of ideal explosive detection technology indicates that it will have promising applications in reinforcing public security and relieving the threat of explosive abuse to the human society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationExplosive Materials
Subtitle of host publicationClassification, Composition and Properties
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9781617611889
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Rapid and sensitive detection of chemical explosives using ambient mass spectrometry'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this