Arrays of conducting polymer composite vapor detectors have been evaluated for performance in the presence of the nerve agent simulants dimethylmethylphosphonate (DMMP) and diisopropylmethylphosponate (DIMP). Limits of detection for DMMP on unoptimized carbon black/organic polymer composite vapor detectors in laboratory air were estimated to be 0.047-0.24 mg m-3. These values are lower than the EC50 value (where EC50 is the airborne concentration sufficient to induce severe effects in 50% of those exposed for 30 min) for the nerve agents sarin (methylphosphonofluoridic acid, 1-methylethyl ester) and soman (methylphosphonofluoridic acid, 1,2,2-trimethylpropyl ester), which has been established as ∼0.8 mg m-3. Arrays of these vapor detectors were easily able to resolve signatures due to exposures to DMMP from those due to DIMP or due to a variety of other test analytes (including water, methanol, benzene, toluene, diesel fuel, lighter fluid, vinegar, and tetrahydrofuran) in a laboratory air background. In addition, DMMP at 27 mg m-3 could be detected and differentiated from the signatures of the other test analytes in the presence of backgrounds of potential interferences, including water, methanol, benzene, toluene, diesel fuel, lighter fluid, vinegar, and tetrahydrofuran, even when these interferents were present in much higher concentrations than that of the DMMP or DIMP being detected.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry