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Int J Ion Mobil Spectrom. 2018 Dec;21(4):125-136. doi: 10.1007/s12127-018-0240-4. Epub 2018 Aug 31.

Modular and reconfigurable gas chromatography / differential mobility spectrometry (GC/DMS) package for detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
Department of Internal Medicine, University of California, 4150 V Street, Suite 3400, Davis, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA.
Center for Comparative Respiratory Biology and Medicine, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


Due to the versatility of present day microcontroller boards and open source development environments, new analytical chemistry devices can now be built outside of large industry and instead within smaller individual groups. While there are a wide range of commercial devices available for detecting and identifying volatile organic compounds (VOCs), most of these devices use their own proprietary software and complex custom electronics, making modifications or reconfiguration of the systems challenging. The development of microprocessors for general use, such as the Arduino prototyping platform, now enables custom chemical analysis instrumentation. We have created an example system using commercially available parts, centered around on differential mobility spectrometer (DMS) device. The Modular Reconfigurable Gas Chromatography - Differential Mobility Spectrometry package (MR-GC-DMS) has swappable components allowing it to be quickly reconfigured for specific application purposes as well as broad, generic use. The MR-GC-DMS has a custom user-friendly graphical user interface (GUI) and precisely tuned proportional-integral-derivative controller (PID) feedback control system managing individual temperature-sensitive components. Accurate temperature control programmed into the microcontroller greatly increases repeatability and system performance. Together, this open-source platform enables researchers to quickly combine DMS devices in customized configurations for new chemical sensing applications.


differential mobility spectrometry (DMS); reconfigurable electronics; volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

[Available on 2019-12-01]

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