Marine Science Faculty Publications

Field-deployed Underwater Mass Spectrometers for Investigations of Transient Chemical Systems

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Mass spectrometry, Membrane introduction, Volatile organic compounds, Dissolved gases

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The mass spectrometer developments and underwater deployments described in this work are directed toward observations of important reactive and influential inorganic and organic chemicals. Mass spectrometer systems for measurement of dissolved gases and volatile hydrocarbons were created by coupling a membrane analyte-introduction system with linear quadrupole and ion trap mass analyzers. For molecular masses up to 100 amu, the in situ quadrupole system has detection limits on the order of 1–5 ppb. For masses up to approximately 300 amu, the underwater ion trap system detects many volatile hydrocarbons at concentrations below 1 ppb. Both instruments can function autonomously or via interactive communications from a remote control site. Continuous operations can be sustained for up to approximately 12 days. Deployments have initially involved shallow water proof-of-concept operations at depths less than 30 m. Future modifications are planned that will allow operational depths to 200 m.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Talanta, v. 64, issue 4, p. 961-969