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Title: Novel two-step laser ablation and ionization mass spectrometry (2S-LAIMS) of actor-spectator ice layers: Probing chemical composition of D{sub 2}O ice beneath a H{sub 2}O ice layer

In this work, we report for the first time successful analysis of organic aromatic analytes imbedded in D{sub 2}O ices by novel infrared (IR) laser ablation of a layered non-absorbing D{sub 2}O ice (spectator) containing the analytes and an ablation-active IR-absorbing H{sub 2}O ice layer (actor) without the analyte. With these studies we have opened up a new method for the in situ analysis of solids containing analytes when covered with an IR laser-absorbing layer that can be resonantly ablated. This soft ejection method takes advantage of the tenability of two-step infrared laser ablation and ultraviolet laser ionization mass spectrometry, previously demonstrated in this lab to study chemical reactions of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in cryogenic ices. The IR laser pulse tuned to resonantly excite only the upper H{sub 2}O ice layer (actor) generates a shockwave upon impact. This shockwave penetrates the lower analyte-containing D{sub 2}O ice layer (spectator, a non-absorbing ice that cannot be ablated directly with the wavelength of the IR laser employed) and is reflected back, ejecting the contents of the D{sub 2}O layer into the vacuum where they are intersected by a UV laser for ionization and detection by a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. Thus, energy ismore » transmitted from the laser-absorbing actor layer into the non-absorbing spectator layer resulting its ablation. We found that isotope cross-contamination between layers was negligible. We also did not see any evidence for thermal or collisional chemistry of PAH molecules with H{sub 2}O molecules in the shockwave. We call this “shockwave mediated surface resonance enhanced subsurface ablation” technique as “two-step laser ablation and ionization mass spectrometry of actor-spectator ice layers.” This method has its roots in the well-established MALDI (matrix assisted laser desorption and ionization) method. Our method offers more flexibility to optimize both the processes—ablation and ionization. This new technique can thus be potentially employed to undertake in situ analysis of materials imbedded in diverse media, such as cryogenic ices, biological samples, tissues, minerals, etc., by covered with an IR-absorbing laser ablation medium and study the chemical composition and reaction pathways of the analyte in its natural surroundings.« less
Authors:
;  [1]
  1. Science Division, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Mail Stop 183-301, 4800 Oak Grove Drive, Pasadena, California 91109 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22253455
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Chemical Physics; Journal Volume: 140; Journal Issue: 10; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ABLATION; CHEMICAL COMPOSITION; DESORPTION; DETECTION; FLEXIBILITY; HEAVY WATER; IONIZATION; LASERS; LAYERS; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; POLYCYCLIC AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS; SHOCK WAVES; SOLIDS; TIME-OF-FLIGHT MASS SPECTROMETERS; WAVELENGTHS