A hybrid quadrupole orthogonal time-of-flight mass spectrometer optimized for matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization (MALDI) and electrospray ionization has been equipped with a C60 cluster ion source. This configuration is shown to exhibit a number of characteristics that improve the performance of traditional time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (TOF-SIMS) experiments for the analysis of complex organic materials and, potentially, for chemical imaging. Specifically, the primary ion beam is operated as a continuous rather than a pulsed beam, resulting in up to 4 orders of magnitude greater ion fluence on the target. The secondary ions are extracted at very low voltage into 8 mTorr of N2 gas introduced for collisional focusing and cooling purposes. This extraction configuration is shown to yield secondary ions that rapidly lose memory of the mechanism of their birth, yielding tandem mass spectra that are identical for SIMS and MALDI. With implementation of ion trapping, the extraction efficiency is shown to be equivalent to that found in traditional TOF-SIMS machines. Examples are given, for a variety of substrates that illustrate mass resolution of 12 000-15 600 with a mass range for inorganic compounds to m/z 40 000. Preliminary chemical mapping experiments show that with added sensitivity, imaging in the MS/MS mode of operation is straightforward. In general, the combination of MALDI and SIMS is shown to add capabilities to each technique, providing a robust platform for TOF-SIMS experiments that already exists in a large number of laboratories.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Analytical Chemistry