Semtex 1A and H negative ion resonances for explosives' detection

FF da Silva, Philipp Sulzer, Tilmann D. Mark, Paulo Manuel Assis Loureiro Limão-vieira, Stephan Denifl, Paul Scheier

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4 Citations (Scopus)


We present the results obtained in dissociative electron attachment to Semtex in the gas phase by making use of a crossed electron-molecular beam experiment. Energy dependence of partial cross sections has been measured in an electron energy range from 0 to 12 eV with an energy resolution of ∼80 meV. Semtex 1A and H are mixtures of two other explosives, i.e., royal demolition explosive - RDX (hexogen) and pentaerythritol tetranitrate - PETN (pentrite), appearing in different fractions. In fresh samples product anions from both explosives can be detected together with anions originating from volatile markers. After some time we only observe product ions formed upon dissociative electron attachment to PETN, which are not observed for a mixture of pure RDX and PETN. For both Semtex samples, an additional anionic feature at 210 m/z can be assigned to the binder butyl rubber.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-43
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Mass Spectrometry
Issue numberNA
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Dissociative electron attachment
  • RDX
  • PETN
  • Explosives


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