Signal Enhancement by Using a Planar Laser Beam for Multiphoton Ionization in a Supersonic Jet/Reflectron Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer

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Multiphoton ionization (MPI) mass spectrometry combined with supersonic jet spectroscopy (SJS) has been shown to be a very powerful method for chemical analysis. In this technique, sample molecules are generally introduced into a supersonic jet and carried into the ionization region of a time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOFMS), where ions are produced through a resonant two-photon ionization (R2PI) process. Both an R2PI jetcooled spectrum and an MPI mass spectrum can be obtained. It has been demonstrated that the two-dimensional detection scheme based on the jet-cooled spectrum and the MPI mass spectrum can provide a unique means of molecular identification and structural analysis of organic and biological molecules with high sensitivity and selectivity. However, with the use of the supersonic jet, sample dilution and expansion along with the jet expansion of the carrier gas are unavoidable, which reduces the ultimate sensitivity of the SJS/MPI technique. Therefore, in order to increase the overall sensitivity of SJSfMPI mass spectrometry, the extent of the sample expansion should be reduced and a larger size of a laser beam should be used to ionize as large a proportion of molecules as possible.

Keywords: Lasers; Mass spectrometry; Multiphoton ionization; Supersonic jet

Document Type: Short Communication


Affiliations: Department of Chemistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2G2, Canada

Publication date: February 1, 1991

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