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Detection of N-phenylpropanamide vapor from fentanyl materials by secondary electrospray ionization-ion mobility spectrometry (SESI-IMS)

NCJ Number
Talanta Volume: 5 Dated: August 2022
Date Published
8 pages

This article presents research into the development of a non-contact detection method for the detection of opioid vapors, specifically fentanyl.


Opioids pose a serious health risk to abusers and law enforcement officials responsible for detecting and handling these classes of drugs. Given the dangers posed by this class of drugs, fentanyl in particular, non-contact detection methods are highly desired. Determination of fentanyl vapor signature enables the identification of target analytes for the indirect detection of the parent opioid without direct sample handling. Diluted N-phenylpropanamide (NPPA), a degradant of fentanyl, was injected into a bench-top ion mobility spectrometer (IMS) to develop a method to detect NPPA in solution. The same parameters were used to assist in developing a method for gas phase NPPA detection. By varying the source voltage and direct spray and mass flow rates, the effects of system impurities were minimized. Weak and strong acids were then added to the electrospray solvent and gas phase NPPA was detected from the headspace of masses of 5 mg or greater of pure fentanyl. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: January 1, 2022