The need for quantitative and fast identification of gaseous trace compounds in complex chemical matrices continuously pushes the limits of analytical chemistry in many areas of relevance to the EU, including food, health, the environment, and security. A relatively new broad-based and rapidly growing analytical technique, proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS), combines excellent chemical specification with ultra high detection sensitivity in real-time, but is only partially exploited owing to the lack of a focused research program in terms of its scientific fundamentals and applications, and to a lack of an intersectoral and interdisciplinary based forum for the exchange of ideas and best practice to further develop this technology.
The demand for PTR-MS operators is outstripping the supply of highly qualified chemists who cannot only use the technology, but who also have a broad background in analytical chemistry, capable of leading multidisciplinary research/commercial activities. There is an urgent need within Europe for the harmonized training of ESRs in analytical chemistry within many sectors and across many disparate scientific disciplines and applications. The overall goal of this multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary ITN is to train the next generation of analytical scientists in the skills necessary for the development and use of PTR-MS and other analytical technologies for the detection of gaseous trace compounds.
Our vision is to enhance our understanding of the crucial role these chemicals play in many complex chemical environments and the underpinning science needed to develop techniques addressing major analytical challenges. The network is intersectoral in nature combining commercial (both manufacturers and “end-users”), governmental and academic concerns using a range of state-of-the-art analytical techniques, to address a number of topical analytical issues in an interdisciplinary cooperative.
IONICONs part in PIMMS
Supported by funding from the Commission, IONICON hosts two ESRs for three years each and offers other ESRs from the network to be seconded to our premises. All ESRs will be given excellent research opportunities in order to successfully complete their PhD studies and become highly skilled researchers. Furthermore, IONICON is responsible for WP5 "Homeland Security" of PIMMS, where novel methods of detecting explosives, chemical warfare agents and drugs with the help of PTR-MS, will be developed.
|Name ||Proton Ionization Molecular Mass Spectrometry |
|Acronym ||PIMMS |
|Type of funding ||European Project, FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN GA no.: 287382 |
|Duration ||2012 to 2016 |
|Project Website ||http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/research/activity/pimms-itn/index.aspx |