Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

The enormous clouds of gas and dust that exist between the stars act as chemical factories producing vast quantities of a whole range of different chemical species.  We are interested in how these chemicals are synthesised.  The experimental techniques we have to investigate these processes include a flowing afterglow selected ion flow drift tube (FA-SIFDT) and an Ion Cyclotron Resonance mass spectrometer. Ion-neutral processes of specific interest are ion-atom reactions and the competition between bimolecular and termolecular association reactions. The sensitivity of the FA/SIFDT instrument has shown it to be capable of detecting trace chemicals in air down to the low ppb range.  We have utilized this aspect of FA-SIFDT technology in a number of applications from medicine, environmental pollution and the detection of volatile organic compounds.

Recent Publications

  • Langford VS., Billiau C. and McEwan MJ. (2020) Evaluation of the efficacy of SIFT-MS for speciation of wastewater treatment plant odors in parallel with human sensory analysis. Environments - MDPI 7(10): 1-33. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/environments7100090.
  • Smith D., McEwan MJ. and Španěl P. (2020) Understanding Gas Phase Ion Chemistry Is the Key to Reliable Selected Ion Flow Tube-Mass Spectrometry Analyses. Analytical Chemistry 92(19): 12750-12762. http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.analchem.0c03050.
  • Allpress C., Crittenden D., Ma J., McEwan M., Robinson S., Wilson P. and Wu M. (2019) Real-time differentiation of ethylbenzene and the xylenes using selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry 33(23): 1844-1849. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/rcm.8550.
  • Langford VS., Padayachee D., McEwan MJ. and Barringer SA. (2019) Comprehensive odorant analysis for on-line applications using selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS). Flavour and Fragrance Journal 34(6): 393-410. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ffj.3516.
  • Langford VS., McEwan MJ., Askey M., Barnes HA. and Olerenshaw JG. (2018) Comprehensive instrumental odor analysis using sift-ms: A case study. Environments - MDPI 5(4): 1-9. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/environments5040043.