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Reference type: Journal
Authors: Bunte G, Hurttlen J, Pontius H, Hartlieb K, Krause H
Article Title: Gas phase detection of explosives such as 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene by molecularly imprinted polymers.
Publication date: 2007
Journal: Analytica Chimica Acta
Volume: 591
Issue: (1)
Page numbers: 49-56.
DOI: 10.1016/j.aca.2007.02.014
Alternative URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6TF4-4N2D2W4-1/2/452c340ead145d38a8014379b2cf1b9e

Abstract: Fast, reliable and inexpensive analytical techniques for trace detection of explosive components are in high demand. Our approach is to develop specific sensor coating materials based on molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs). Despite the known inhibition of radical polymerisations by nitro groups and the known shrinkage of the polymer lattice during/after drying we were able to synthesize particulate MIPs by suspension polymerisation as well as thin MIP coatings by direct surface polymerisation on quartz crystal microbalances (QCM). The best method to purify the porous beads was Soxhlet extraction followed by supercritical carbon dioxide extraction (SFE with sc-CO2) at mild conditions (150 bar, 50 C). At least a removal of >99.7% of the template was achieved. Performance tests of TNT imprinted polymer beads showed that acrylamide (AA) and more pronounced also methacrylic acid (MAA) possessed an enhanced adsorption tendency for gaseous TNT. An adsorption of 2,4-DNT, dinitrotoluene, by these MIPs was not detected. Using 2,4-DNT as template and methacrylamide, MAAM, a positive imprint effect for gaseous 2,4-DNT was achieved with no measurable cross-sensitivity for 2,4,6-TNT. The thin MIP coatings directly synthesized on the QCMs showed thicknesses of 20 to up to 500 nm. Preliminary screening experiments were performed for five different monomers and three different solvents (acetonitrile, chloroform and dimethylformamide). Best adsorption properties for TNT vapour until now showed a PAA-MIP synthesized with chloroform. Direct measurements of the mass attachment, respectively frequency decrease of the coated QCMs during vapour treatment showed a TNT-uptake of about 150 pg per μg MIP per hour. Results look worthy for further studies
Template and target information: 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene, TNT, 2,4-dinitrotoluene, 2,4-DNT
Author keywords: Detection of explosive vapours, Low-cost sensors, molecularly imprinted polymers (MIP), quartz crystal microbalance (QCM), Suspension polymerisation, Polymerisation initiated by ultraviolet light (UV)

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