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Differentiation of the Regioisomeric 2 3 and 4-Trifluoromethylphenylpiperazines (TFMPP) by GC-IRD and GC-MS

NCJ Number
Forensic Science International Volume: 188 Issue: 1-3 Dated: July 2009 Pages: 31-39
Date Published
July 2009
9 pages

This article reports on a project with the goal of differentiating the regioisomeric 2-, 3-, and 4- trifluoromethylphenylpiperazines (TEMPP) by GC-IRD and GC-MS.


Gas chromatography with infrared detection (GC-IRD) provides direct confirmatory data for the identification of the psychoactive designer drug 3-trifluoromethylphenylpiperazine (3-TFMPP) from the regioisomeric 2- and 4-trifluoromethylphenylpiperazines. These three regioisomeric substances are well resolved by GC and the vapor phase infrared spectra clearly differentiate among the three trifluoromethylphenyl substitution patterns; however, the mass spectra for the three regioisomeric 2-, 3-, and 4-trifluoromethylphenylpiperazines are identical and do not provide structural confirmation for one of the three isomers to the exclusion of the other two compounds. Perfluoroacylation of the secondary amine nitrogen for each of the three regioisomers was conducted in an effort to individualize their mass spectra. The resulting derivatives were resolved by GC, and their mass spectra showed some differences in relative abundance of fragment ions without the appearance of any unique fragments for specific confirmation of structure. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: July 1, 2009