The World's Leading PTR-MS Trace Analyzers Company

IONICON at 6th Future Security, Security Research Conference

IONICON science manager, Dr. Philipp Sulzer will co-chair the session A3 Detection of hazardous Material and give a lecture.

Terrorism, organized crime and sabotage, but also natural disasters and technological accidents can cause serious damage and disruption with long-lasting consequences for economies and the quality of life.

The 6th Future Security, Security Research Conference will take place 5. -7. September 2011 in Berlin, Germany and has the aim to bring together the decision makers in politics, industry and finance with scientists working on leading edge and innovative concepts, sensors or systems for civil security. Philipp Sulzer will chair the session Detection of Hazardous Material on Tuesday September 6 from 9:00 to 10:20 and give a lecture with the title: Detection and Identification of illicit and Hazardous Substances with Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS).


The innovative Proton-Transfer-Reaction Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) technology was invented and developed in the 1990s by scientists at the “Institut für Ionenphysik” at the Leopold-Franzens Universität in Innsbruck and was commercialized by the spin-off company IONICON Analytik GmbH. PTR-MS rapidly became a well established analytical technology in the fields of environmental research, atmospheric chemistry, and food and flavor science. This resulted from its high selectivity (up to 8 000 m/Δm), extremely low detection limits (sub-pptv levels), rapid response times (100 ms) and real-time quantification capability.

Here we present our latest studies on using PTR-MS in the analysis of explosives (TNT, RDX, PETN, Semtex, etc.) in the gas and in the liquid phase, as well as chemical warfare agents (CWAs) and illicit, prescribed and designer drugs. It turns out that PTR-MS can detect all of these substances even in smallest concentrations with high selectivity.  Therefore, even in a complex chemical environment we are able to detect threat agents with high levels of confidence, thus nearly eliminating so-called “false positives”.

Moreover, from the beginning of 2008 until 2011, IONICON was a partner in the European Defence Agency (EDA) JIP-FP project “GUARDED”. In this three-year project, we developed a rugged and compact PTR-MS instrument for use on a robot platform. Details about the outcome of this project will be presented.

Download the extended abstract (9 pages, pdf).

There are more events coming up this fall:

  • 3rd iLEAPS Science Conference, 18. -23. September 2011
  • 13th Weurman Flavour Research Symposium, 27. -30. September 2011
  • 2nd MS Food Day, 19. -21. October 2011
  • RAFA 2011, 1. -4. November 2011

Check our events’ schedule for all details and dates!