Ion Mobility Spectrometry of Gas-Phase Ions from Laser Ablation of Solids in Air at Ambient Pressure

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A mobility spectrometer was used to characterize gas-phase ions produced from laser ablation of solids in air at 100 °C and at ambient pressure with a beam focused to a diameter of ≤0.2 mm at energy of 6 mJ/pulse and wavelength of 266 nm. Metals, organic polymers, glass, graphite, and boron nitride exhibited characteristic mobility spectra with peaks at drift times between 8.75 and 12.5 ms (reduced mobility values of 2.19 to 1.53 cm2/Vs). Ion intensities increased initially and then decreased with repeated laser shots through drilling of the solid, and persistence of signal was proportional to hardness. A single comparatively narrow peak for negative ions was observed in mobility spectra for all materials and this was mass-identified as O2 . These ions were formed in air from reactions of oxygen with electrons emitted from the ablation step. Positive ions ablated directly from the solid were masked in ion mobility spectrometry/mass spectrometry (IMS/MS) studies by ionization of moisture and impurities. Positive ions from solids were seen only in the IMS analyzer at elevated temperature and low moisture. Under such conditions, materials were classified from mobility spectra alone with principal component analysis.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88003 2: ISAS – Institute for Analytical Sciences, Bunsen-Kirchhoff-Str. 11, 44139 Dortmund, Germany 3: Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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