Integrated explosive preconcentrator and electrochemical detection system for 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) vapor

Karel Cizek, Chad Prior, Chongdee Thammakhet, Michal Galik, Kevin Linker, Ray Tsui, Avi Cagan, John Wake, Jeffrey LaBelle, Joseph Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


This article reports on an integrated explosive-preconcentration/electrochemical detection system for 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) vapor. The challenges involved in such system integration are discussed. A hydrogel-coated screen-printed electrode is used for the detection of the thermally desorbed TNT from a preconcentration device using rapid square wave voltammetry. Optimization of the preconcentration system for desorption of TNT and subsequent electrochemical detection was conducted yielding a desorption temperature of 120 °C under a flow rate of 500 mL min-1. Such conditions resulted in a characteristic electrochemical signal for TNT representing the multi-step reduction process. Quantitative measurements produced a linear signal dependence on TNT quantity exposed to the preconcentrator from 0.25 to 10 μg. Finally, the integrated device was successfully demonstrated using a sample of solid TNT located upstream of the preconcentrator.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-121
Number of pages5
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 19 2010


  • Explosive detection
  • Screen-printed electrodes
  • Trinitrotoluene
  • Vapor detection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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