Nanoscale Mass Spectrometry Imaging

Photograph of the extreme ultraviolet laser ablation mass spectrometry instrument

Mass spectrometry  is broadly used to assess atomic and molecular  composition. of solids.  Chemical information is obtained by mass discriminating ions created by either laser ablation or sputtering.  We have developed a mass spectrometer that uses the focused beam from an extreme ultraviolet laser operating at 46.9 nm wavelength that is capable to map chemical composition at the nanoscale.    This is because the short wavelength laser light can be focused to spots of about 120 nm diameter. We have used the instrument to analyze chemical composition of organic and inorganic samples.   The unique aspects of our method are: three dimensional nanoscale imaging capabilities, single shot acquisition and insignificant damage outside the ablated region.  The method has applications in ,for example, materials, biology, chemical, atmospheric and forensic sciences. 

EUV laser ablation can produce clean craters in organics with nanoscale dimensions using a selected laser fluence
Concept of Extreme Ultraviolet Laser Mass Spectrometry
Example of how iso-furfaces showng content of a specific molecule in a single bacterium are generated from a mass spectrum
Imaging isotopic content in uranium microparticles

Selected Publications

I. Kuznetsov, J. Filevich, F. Dong, M. Woolston, W. Chao, E. H. Anderson, E.R. Bernstein, D.C. Crick, J.J. Rocca, C.S. Menoni, “Three-dimensional nanoscale molecular imaging by extreme ultraviolet laser ablation mass spectrometry,” Nat Commun,  6, Article No. 6944(2015); doi:10.1038/ncomms7944.

T. Green, I. Kuznetsov, D. Willingham, B.E. Naes, G.C. Eiden, Z.H. Zhu, W. Chao, J.J. Rocca, C.S. Menoni, and A.M. Duffin, “Characterization of extreme ultraviolet laser ablation mass spectrometry for actinide trace analysis and nanoscale isotopic imaging.” Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry, 32(6): p. 1092-1100 (2017). DOI: 10.1039/c7ja00088j

Lydia A. Rush, John B. Cliff, Dallas D. Reilly, Andrew M. Duffin, and Carmen S. Menoni, “Isotopic Heterogeneity Imaged in a Uranium Fuel Pellet with Extreme Ultraviolet Laser Ablation and Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry,” Anal. Chem. 2021, 93, 2, 1016–1024.


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