Calibration of complex mixtures in one sweep

  • Igor Bergen
  • Sascha Liedtke
  • Stefanie Güssgen
  • Oliver Kayser
  • Chandrasekhara Hariharan
  • Carolin Drees
  • Wolfgang VautzEmail author
Original Research


The calibration of extremely complex humid gas-phase mixtures – often required in ion mobility spectrometry applications – is challenging, even when high-performance calibration gas generators such as HovaCAL® are applied. Here, we describe an approach to develop and apply mixtures of VOCs in one channel of such a calibration gas generator for a complex calibration in one sweep. As an example, a mixture of so-called “Signs of Life” – compounds available in the exhaled breath and/or in the sweat of everybody was used. The procedure of developing the appropriate mixture and the results of a successful calibration of a GC-ion mobility spectrometer are presented.


Calibration Gas-phase Complex mixture Human scent Hidden persons Calibration gas generator 



The financial support of the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung and the Ministerium für Innovation, Wissenschaft und Forschung des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen is gratefully acknowledged. This research was funded by the European Union as part of the project “Detection of olfactory traces by orthogonal gas identification technologies” (DOGGIES), a collaborative project (No. 285446) funded under call identifier FP7-SEC-20011-1, which is part of the FP7 Program. Furthermore, the dedicated support of the workshops at ISAS, Dortmund, Germany and CNR-IMM, Bologna, Italy was indispensable for the success of the present study. Moreover, the steady and easy-going support by IAS, namely Martin Schmäh and his stuff is gratefully acknowledged.

Author’s contributions

All authors significantly contributed and have given approval to the final version of the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no competing financial interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TU Dortmund, Technical BiochemistryDortmundGermany
  2. 2.ION-GAS GmbH, Konrad-Adenauer-Allee 11DortmundGermany
  3. 3.Leibniz-Institut für Analytische Wissenschaften - ISAS - e.VDortmundGermany
  4. 4.Eye on Air B.V., The GalleryEnschedeNetherlands

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