A unique fiber core sampler composition, related systems, and techniques for designing, making, and using the same are described. The sampler is used to interface with existing field instrumentation, such as Ion Mobility Spectrometer (IMS) equipment. Desired sampler characteristics include its: stiffness/flexibility; thermal mass and conductivity; specific heat; trace substance collection/release dependability, sensitivity and repeatability; thickness; reusability; durability; stability for thermal cleaning; and the like. In one form the sampler has a glass fiber core with a thickness less than 0.3 millimeter that is coated with a polymer including one or more of: polymeric organofluorine, polyimide, polyamide, PolyBenzlmidazole (PBI), PolyDiMethylSiloxane (PDMS), sulfonated tetrafluoroethylene (PFSA) and Poly(2,6-diphenyl-p-phenylene Oxide) (PPPO). Multiple polymer coatings with the same or different polymer types may be included, core/substrate surface functionalization utilized, and/or the core/substrate may be at partially filled with thermally conductive particles.