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Forensic applications of Infrared Ion Spectroscopy

The global synthetic drug market has been rapidly expanding to include many novel psychoactive substances (NPS). These designer drugs have chemical structures closely related to ‘traditional’ drugs. Due to the minor variations in molecular structure these NPS induce similar psychoactive effects, but change their legal status and potentially cause severe health effects. Common approaches for isomeric drug identifications are limited. Using infrared ion spectroscopy (IRIS) at the FELIX Laboratory, we are able to identify NPS even with limited (or none) availability of reference samples, sample impurities or mixtures.

20210119 Jos en Giel analytica chem

An example; IR spectra for the methylmethcathinone isomer reference standards (2-MMC blue, 3-MMC green, 4-MMC red) overlaid in each panel with the spectrum of the unknown m/z 178 compound in a confiscated street sample (black line). Molecular structures of each of the reference compounds are shown as well.

3-MMC

Recent articles

  • Isomer-Specific Two-Color Double-Resonance IR2MS3 Ion Spectroscopy Using a Single Laser: Application in the Identification of Novel Psychoactive Substances
    F.A.M.G. van Geenen, R.F. Kranenburg, A.C. van Asten, J. Martens, J. Oomens, G. Berden.
    Analytical Chemistry, 2021.
    http://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.0c05042 (Open Access, Free download).

  • Mass-Spectrometry-Based Identification of Synthetic Drug Isomers Using Infrared Ion Spectroscopy
    R.F. Kranenburg, F.A.M.G. van Geenen, G. Berden, J. Oomens, A.C. van Asten
    Analytical Chemistry 92 (2020) 7282-7288
    https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.0c00915 (Open Access, Free download).

  • Identification of novel fragmentation pathways and fragment ion structures in the tandem mass spectra of protonated synthetic cathinones
    J.T. Davidson, E.L. Piacentino, Z.J. Sasiene, Y. Abiedalla, J. DeRuiter, C.R. Clark, G. Berden, J. Oomens, V. Ryzhov, G.P. Jackson
    Forensic Chemistry 19 (2020) 100245
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forc.2020.100245  (Open Access, Free download).