Multifunctional Ultra-High Vacuum Apparatus for Studies of the Interactions of Chemical Warfare Agents on Complex Surfaces
VIRGINIA POLYTECHNIC INST AND STATE UNIV BLACKSBURG DEPT OF CHEMISTRY
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A fundamental understanding of the surface chemistry of chemical warfare agents is needed to fully predict the interaction of these toxic molecules with militarily relevant materials, catalysts, and environmental surfaces. For example, rules for predicting the surface chemistry of agents can be applied to the creation of next generation decontaminants, reactive coatings, and protective materials for the warfighter. Here, we describe a multifunctional ultra-high vacuum instrument for conducting comprehensive studies of the adsorption, desorption, and surface chemistry of chemical warfare agents on model and militarily relevant surfaces. The system applies reflection-absorption infrared spectroscopy, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, and mass spectrometry to study adsorption and surface reactions of chemical warfare agents. Several novel components have been developed to address the unique safety and sample exposure challenges that accompany the research of these toxic, often very low vapor pressure, compounds. While results of vacuum-based surface science techniques may not necessarily translate directly to environmental processes, learning about the fundamental chemistry will begin to inform scientists about the critical aspects that impact real-world applications.
- Physical Chemistry
- Chemical, Biological and Radiological Warfare
- Fluid Mechanics