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Resonance-Enhanced Multiphoton Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry for Detection of Nitrogen Containing Aliphatic and Aromatic Compounds: Resonance-Enhanced Multiphoton Ionization Spectroscopic Investigation and On-Line Analytical Application

Volume 60, Number 1 (Jan. 2006) Page 72-79

Streibel, T.; Hafner, K.; Mühlberger, F.; Adam, T.; Zimmermann, R.


Resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI) combined with time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS) is an analytical method capable of on-line monitoring of trace compounds in complex matrices. A necessary prerequisite for substance selective detection is spectroscopic investigation of the target molecules. Several organic nitrogen compounds comprising aliphatic and aromatic amines, nitrogen heterocyclic compounds, and aromatic nitriles are spectroscopically investigated with a tunable narrow bandwidth optical parametric oscillator (OPO) laser system providing a scannable wavelength range between 220 and 340 nm. These species are known as possible precursors in fuel-NO formation from combustion of solid fuels such as biomass and waste. A newly conceived double inlet system was used in this study, which allows rapid change between effusive and supersonic molecular beams. The resulting REMPI spectra of the compounds are discussed with respect to electronic transitions that could be utilized for a selective ionization of these compounds in complex mixtures such as combustion and process gases. The practicability of this approach is demonstrated by wavelength selected on-line REMPI-TOFMS detection of aniline and cyanonaphthalene in the burning chamber of a waste incineration plant. REMPI mass spectra recorded at different excitation wavelengths as well as variations in time show the utilization of species-selective REMPI-TOFMS detection for on-line monitoring of crucial substances in pollutant formation.