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Coupling a Gas Chromatography Unit to an Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer

Jerrad P. Auxier, John D. Auxier Ii,

Abstract: Although the eminent threat of a terrorist group detonating an improvised nuclear device (IND) in an urban environment is low, it is crucial that countries develop modern nuclear forensic capabilities to expedite response in a post-detonation scenario. In particular, new instruments need to be created to shorten dissolution time, expedite chemical separation, and improve forensic analysis of the nuclear melt glass that is created during the detonation of the device. To expedite this process, an instrument was designed to thermally couple a gas chromatograph (GC) to a time-of-flight inductively coupled plasma time-of-flight mass spectrometer (ICPTOFMS) In order to couple these two instruments, another instrument was designed to provide an isothermal atmosphere between the GC and TOFICPMS to expedite rapid gas separations processes. By using gas separations instead of the current wet chemistry processes, the required separation and analysis time of the melt glass significantly decreases. The new instrument would also provide a more detailed analysis of the elemental and isotopic composition of the melt glass. By completing these tasks simultaneously, this significantly decreases the required time to conduct these separations and improves the elemental and isotopic analysis.
Keywords: instrument / couple / isotopic / gas / inductively / flight / elemental / forensic / expedite

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