Analysis of triacetone triperoxide complexes with alkali metal ions by electrospray and extractive electrospray ionisation combined with ion mobility spectrometry and mass spectrometry

The complexation of triacetone triperoxide (TATP) with a range of alkali metals has been studied by electrospray ionisation-mass spectrometry yield [M+Cat]+ ions for all of the alkali metals. The formation of [2TATP+Li+LiX]+ (X = Br, Cl) sandwich complexes was also observed. Collision cross-sections for the lithium-containing complexes of TATP were measured by travelling wave ion mobility spectrometry mass spectrometry, and compared well with computationally determined structures. Extractive electrospray ionisation (EESI) using a lithium doped electrospray is demonstrated for the detection of TATP vapours desorbed from a metal surface. The limit of detection for EESI was shown to be 20 ng using the [TATP+Li]+ ion.