Characterization of the explosive triacetone triperoxide and detection by ion mobility spectrometry

Gavin A. Buttigieg, Andrew K. Knight, Stephen Denson, Carolyn Pommier, M. Bonner Denton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

104 Scopus citations


The improvised explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) was synthesized and characterized by 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), 13C-NMR, Raman and infrared (IR) spectroscopy. Triacetone triperoxide was subsequently analyzed by ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) in positive ion mode, and detected as a cluster of three peaks with a drift time of the most intense peak at 13.06ms. Triacetone triperoxide was then analyzed after dissolution in toluene, where a dramatic increase in peak intensity was observed, at a flight time of 12.56ms (K0=2.71cm2V-1s-1). Triacetone triperoxide was subsequently analyzed by coupling the ion mobility spectrometer to a triple quadrupole mass spectrometer, where a single peak at m/z of 223 atomic mass units identified the species present in the ion mobility spectra as being triacetone triperoxide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-59
Number of pages7
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 29 2003



  • Ion mobility spectrometry (IMS)
  • NMR
  • Raman
  • Triacetone triperoxide (TATP)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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