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Laser Ablation-Aerosol Mass Spectrometry-Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry for Ambient Surface Imaging

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journal contribution
posted on 20.02.2018, 00:00 by Jennifer L. Berry, Douglas A. Day, Tim Elseberg, Brett B. Palm, Weiwei Hu, Aroob Abdelhamid, Jason C. Schroder, Uwe Karst, Jose L. Jimenez, Eleanor C. Browne
Mass spectrometry imaging is becoming an increasingly common analytical technique due to its ability to provide spatially resolved chemical information. Here, we report a novel imaging approach combining laser ablation with two mass spectrometric techniques, aerosol mass spectrometry and chemical ionization mass spectrometry, separately and in parallel. Both mass spectrometric methods provide the fast response, rapid data acquisition, low detection limits, and high-resolution peak separation desirable for imaging complex samples. Additionally, the two techniques provide complementary information with aerosol mass spectrometry providing near universal detection of all aerosol molecules and chemical ionization mass spectrometry with a heated inlet providing molecular-level detail of both gases and aerosols. The two techniques operate with atmospheric pressure interfaces and require no matrix addition for ionization, allowing for samples to be investigated in their native state under ambient pressure conditions. We demonstrate the ability of laser ablation-aerosol mass spectrometry-chemical ionization mass spectrometry (LA-AMS-CIMS) to create 2D images of both standard compounds and complex mixtures. The results suggest that LA-AMS-CIMS, particularly when combined with advanced data analysis methods, could have broad applications in mass spectrometry imaging applications.