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Femtosecond laser photoionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry of nitro-aromatic explosives and explosives related compounds

Abstract

The ultrafast laser-induced photoionization and photodissociation processes of the nitroaromatic containing explosive and explosive related compounds (ERCs) nitrobenzene (NB), 1,3-dinitrobenzene (DNB), m-nitrotoluene (MNT), 2,4-dinitrotoluene (DNT), and 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) have been investigated at three laser wavelengths and power densities using a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Examination of the mass spectra of these compounds reveals the enhanced formation of the molecular ion [M+] when ultraviolet (332 nm) and visible (495 nm) light is used relative to infrared (795 nm) radiation. In addition, at 795 nm and a power density of 3. 5 × 1014 W/cm2, the presence of a competition between multiphoton ionization (MPI) and Coulomb explosion (CE) channels is revealed by peak shape analysis, and is thought to be operative under these conditions for all of the molecules investigated.

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Correspondence to Harald Oser.

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Published online November 6, 2008

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Mullen, C., Coggiola, M.J. & Oser, H. Femtosecond laser photoionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry of nitro-aromatic explosives and explosives related compounds. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 20, 419–429 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasms.2008.10.022

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jasms.2008.10.022

Keywords

  • Multiphoton Ionization
  • Double Ionization
  • Laser Polarization
  • Coulomb Explosion
  • Kinetic Energy Release