BibTex format

author = {Court, RW and Sims, MR and Cullen, DC and Sephton, MA},
doi = {10.1016/j.pss.2012.08.023},
journal = {Planetary and Space Science},
pages = {262--270},
title = {Potential failure of life detection experiments on Mars resulting from adsorption of organic compounds on to common instrument materials},
url = {},
volume = {73},
year = {2012}

RIS format (EndNote, RefMan)

AB - Some life detection instruments under development for operation on Mars use solvents to extract organic compounds from samples of martian regolith and rock and to transfer the extracts to dedicated detectors. However, it is possible that organic compounds extracted from martian samples and dissolved in the solvent could adsorb to instrument surfaces, potentially resulting in a failure to detect organic matter that could have been avoided by using more appropriate instrument materials. If successful detection and characterisation is to take place it is therefore essential to understand the interactions between dissolved organic targets and the surfaces of space instrument components. One such life detection instrument is the Life Marker Chip (LMC) being developed for the ExoMars mission, which relies on a novel surfactant-based solvent system and antibody-based detectors. We have tested the ability of a range of materials, including titanium, stainless steel, aluminium, the fluoropolymer Viton™, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), nylon, polypropylene, polyethersulfone and cellulose acetate to adsorb a range of organic standards from the surfactant solution intended to be used by the LMC. Results indicate that aromatic hydrocarbons, specifically anthracene, are more prone to adsorption than straight chain, branched and cyclic aliphatic species. Titanium, aluminium and stainless steel show little adsorption ability and are suitable for larger-area applications. PTFE and Viton™ are suitable for use in small-area applications such as seals and filters. Nylon, polypropylene, polyethersulfone and cellulose acetate show stronger adsorption characteristics and should be avoided in the forms employed here. The ability of some materials to selectively adsorb organic compounds from solvent extracts can lower the sensitivity of life detection instruments. In future, it would be prudent to test all space instrument materials for their ability to adsorb target organic com
AU - Court,RW
AU - Sims,MR
AU - Cullen,DC
AU - Sephton,MA
DO - 10.1016/j.pss.2012.08.023
EP - 270
PY - 2012///
SN - 0032-0633
SP - 262
TI - Potential failure of life detection experiments on Mars resulting from adsorption of organic compounds on to common instrument materials
T2 - Planetary and Space Science
UR -
UR -
VL - 73
ER -