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Hand-held express drug detector


Hand-Held Express Detector of Drug Traces Based on a Method of Ion Mobility Increment Spectrometry

Tech Area / Field

  • INS-DET/Detection Devices/Instrumentation
  • CHE-THE/Physical and Theoretical Chemistry/Chemistry

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Genisaretskaya S V

Leading Institute
Siberian Branch of RAS / Design & Technological Institute of Instrument Engineering for Geophysics and Ecology, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk

Supporting institutes

  • Forensic Science Center of the Ministry of Home Affairs of the Russian Federation, Russia, Moscow\nResearch and Production Association of Special Equipment and Telecommunications, Siberian Branch, Russia, Novosibirsk reg., Novosibirsk


  • US Department of Energy, USA, DC, Washington

Project summary

The aim of the first stage is to determine detection limits and parameters for detecting vapors of the main drugs (cocaine, heroine, methamphetamin ) using a method of ion mobility increment spectrometry (IMIS), to develop an analytical circuit and to determine the demands placed upon the main units for developing a detector of drug traces based on the IMIS.

The operation of IMIS rests on detected compound ionization, separation of produced ions by ion mobility increment that depends on compensation electric field strength and separated ions detection in purified air. At present the method of ion mobility increment spectrometry shows high sensitivity upon the detection of explosive vapors, which is promising for developing portable explosive vapor detectors with or without preconcentration,. The IMIS can be used as a chromatographic detector..

IDE RAS is being engaged in the development of the IMIS. A laboratory spectrometer prototype is developed. The device uses purified air as a carrier gas and has shown high sensitivity and selectivity for the vapors of TNT, DNT, nitroglycerin and can, in principle, be used to detect vapors of RDX and PETN. A possibility to detect cocaine vapors with a rather high sensitivity was shown. A possibility to detect heroine vapors was shown. This creates prerequisites for this method to be efficient for drug vapors detection.

In the cause of the Project based on the IMIS prototype an automated experimental unit shall be developed and tested for detecting drug vapors,.

For this purpose it is planned :

1. To improve the IMIS prototype having modified the analytical circuit and changed some parameters of the spectrometer.

2. To develop a system of drug injection that allows one to deliver drugs vapors to the IMIS input.

3. To modify software.

4. To determine a list of drugs to be detected with the method of ion mobility increment spectrometry and define detection limits.

5. To conduct experimental studies on vapor detection, to determine detection parameters and the dependence of compensation voltage versus dispersion voltage. By the results of studies to determine the electric field dependence of the mobility increment.

Experimental data will allow one to evaluate prospects for the IMIS technology for drugs detection, to develop analytical circuit of a drug detector and define the main parameters of a separation system, electric fields and gas flows.


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