Mass spectrometry of solid samples in open air was carried out using combined laser ionization and metastable ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LI-MI-TOFMS) in ambient environment for qualitative and semiquantitative (relative analyte information, not absolute information) analysis. Ambient metastable ionization using a direct analysis in realtime (DART) ion source was combined with laser ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LI-TOFMS) to study the effects of combining metastable and laser ionization. A series of metallic samples from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST 494, 495, 498, 499, and 500) and a pure carbon target were characterized using LI-TOFMS in open air. LI-MI-TOFMS was found to be superior to laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). Laser pulse energies between 10 and 200 mJ at the second harmonic (532 nm) of an Nd:YAG laser were applied in the experiment to obtain a high degree of ionization in plasmas. Higher laser pulse energy improves signal intensities of trace elements (such as Fe, Cr, Mn, Ni, Ca, Al, and Ag). Data were analyzed by numerically calculating relative sensitivity coefficients (RSCs) and limit of detections (LODs) from mass spectrometry (MS) and LIBS spectra. Different parameters, such as boiling point, ionization potential, RSC, LOD, and atomic weight, were shown to analyze the ionization and MS detection processes in open air.
- Laser-induced plasma
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Analytical Chemistry
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics