alled secondary ions, retain the chemical characteristics of the chemical warfare agent stuck to the surface of the concrete. The secondary ions are filtered by mass and then counted. That data is displayed as a spectra (a bar graph that plots the number of ions versus their mass) that researchers then use to identify the chemicals.
One advantage of INEEL's IT-SIMS is that researchers trap secondary ions and then use precisely chosen electromagnetic frequencies-called tickle voltages-to fragment the ions into still smaller pieces, allowing them to achieve incredible specificity in their chemical analysis. A second advantage of the instrument is the choice of bombarding projectile-a large rhenium/oxygen molecule called a perrhenate ion. A large projectile is more effective at knocking off ions for analysis.
The design and fabrication work, chemical agent degradation product and precursor testing is being carried out at INEEL facilities. Testing of live chemical warfare agents is being conducted under controlled conditions at the U.S. Army West Desert Test Center chemistry laboratory, Dugway Proving Ground, Dugway, Utah. INEEL's IT-SIMS is slated to be used to assist the Army during the decommissioning of the former VX production plant in Newport Indiana, and has been used to support analysis for other chemical weapons decommissioning sites.
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Contact: Deborah Hill
DOE/Idaho National Laboratory
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