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

Ilya M. Anishchenko, Mitchell M. McCartney, Alexander G. Fung, Daniel J. Peirano, Michael J. Schirle, Nicholas Kenyon, Cristina E Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal for Ion Mobility Spectrometry
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018



  • Differential mobility spectrometry (DMS)
  • Reconfigurable electronics
  • Volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy

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