Towards nanoscale molecular analysis at atmospheric pressure by a near-field laser ablation ion trap/time-of-flight mass spectrometer

Thomas A. Schmitz, Gerardo Gamez Goytia, Patrick D. Setz, Liang Zhu, Renato Zenobi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An instrument that combines near-field laser ablation at atmospheric pressure with an ion trap/time-of-flight mass spectrometer was developed. By coupling a UV laser into a fiber tip of a scanning near-field optical microscope, ablation craters much smaller than achievable with conventional laser optics can in principle be obtained. Laser ablation was performed on samples such as DHB, anthracene, and pyrene. Desorbed neutral analytes are transferred from atmospheric pressure to an ion trap, ionized, and stored. After 10 ms, the ions are extracted into a sensitive time-of-flight spectrometer. We demonstrate the feasibility of this unique SNOM-MS instrument for chemical analysis with unprecedented lateral resolution at atmospheric pressure. Spatially resolved molecular analysis with a lateral resolution of 5 mu m (fwhm) and a sensitivity of similar to 60 fmol of solid andiracene is demonstrated, along with topographical analysis with the same instrument. No other technique available tod
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6537-6544
JournalAnalytical Chemistry
StatePublished - Sep 2008

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