Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Application of Ultrafast Laser Pulses to Laser Desorption Mass Spectrometry
by Cui, Yang, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, 2015, 165; 3728658
Abstract (Summary)

Ultrashort femtosecond laser pulses display exceptional performance for the selective ablation of materials, includes metals, semiconductors, and biological tissues. They do not damage the remaining unablated portion of a sample, which permits the possibility of depth profiling by repeat sampling at the same location. With sufficiently micro-focused fs laser pulse length beam, high lateral resolution mass spectrometry imaging is possible, while sample damage may degrade ultimate lateral resolution in some other methods. Combining imaging and depth profiling could ultimately leads to tomographical mass spectrometry or 3D imaging MS.

Laser postionization, a “soft” ionization method, was combined with ultrafast laser desorption for enhanced molecular analysis. A customized femtosecond laser desorption/ablation postionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer was designed and built. The construction and performance of both phases including the VUV source are detailed. Instrument control software was written to operate this instrument, and many automated experiments were successfully demonstrated by this software. Elemental and molecular analysis was carried out on the instrument and demonstrated exceptional performance for fs laser pulse sampling of small areas. Studies demonstrated the imaging and depth profiling capability of fs-LDPI on metals, semiconductors and intact biofilm tissues. Attempts were made to reach the limit of lateral resolution of imaging by fs-LDPI-MS. The results showed similar lateral resolution of <2 μm for both fs 800 nm and 400 nm desorption beams. To improve the repetition rate for high speed imaging application, an alternative LDPI scheme was designed and constructed. The fs 800 beam was tripled to 267 nm and delivered into the ion source as an ionization laser, while a ns 349 nm pulse laser was used for desorption. Preliminary data showed certain intact molecular ions can be detected. Fragmentation tendency was measured against various ionization laser pulse energies and photoionization time delays.

Indexing (document details)
Commitee: Hanley, Luke
School: University of Illinois at Chicago
Department: Chemistry
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 77/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Analytical chemistry, Physical chemistry, Physics
Keywords: Depth profiling, Instrument control software, Laser desorption, Mass spectrometry, Mass spectrometry imaging, Photoionization, Ultrafast laser
Publication Number: 3728658
ISBN: 978-1-339-14179-4
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