Chemical characterization of microparticles by laser ablation in an ion trap mass spectrometer [chapter]

J. M. Dale, W. B. Whitten, J. M. Ramsey
Laser Ablation Mechanisms and Applications  
We are developing a new technique for the chemical characterization of microparticles based upon the use of electrodynamic traps. The electrodynamic trap has achieved widespread use in the mass spectrometry community in the form of the ion trap mass spectrometer or quadrupole ion trap (1). Small macroscopic particles (microparticles) can be confined or levitated within the electrode structure of a three-dimensional quadrupole electrodynamic trap in the same way as fundamental charges or
more » ... r ions by using a combination of ac and dc potentials (2). Our concept is to use the same electrode structure to perform both microparticle levitation and ion trapping/mass analysis. The microparticle will first be trapped and spatially stabilized within the trap for characterization by optical probes, i.e., absorption, fluorescence, or Raman spectroscopy. (We have previously shown that such spectroscopic probes can be extremely sensitive, e.g., a detection limit of one molecule of Rhodamine-6G has been determined in the case of fluorescence spectroscopy (3), (4)). After the particle has been optically characterized, it is further characterized using mass spectrometry. Ions are generated from the particle surface using laser ablation or desorption. The characteristics of the applied voltages are changed to trap the ions formed by the laser with the ions subsequently mass analyzed. The work described here focuses on the ability to perform laser desorption experiments on microparticles contained within the ion trap. Laser desorption has previously been demonstrated in ion trap devices by applying the sample to a probe which is inserted so as to place the sample at the surface of the ring electrode (5) , (6). Our technique requires the placement of a microparticle in the center of the trap. Our initial experiments have been performed Research sponsored by U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, under contract DE-AC05-84OR21400 with Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Inc.
doi:10.1007/bfb0048391 fatcat:ljhyb3o6ana5jcx4323kie4k6y