Laser Mass Spectrometry in Trace Analysis
Environment: Trace Gas Monitoring
Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. All rights reserved.
Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry
How to Cite
Boesl, U., Heger, H.-J., Zimmermann, R., Nagel, H. and Püffel, P. 2006. Laser Mass Spectrometry in Trace Analysis. Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry. .
- Published Online: 15 SEP 2006
Laser mass spectrometry (laser-MS) in molecular trace analysis involves two analytical tools: Ultraviolet (UV)-spectroscopy in the gas phase and time-of-flight mass selection. Both tools are combined by resonance-enhanced multiphoton ionization (REMPI). This type of mass spectrometry is therefore called resonant laser-MS in the following text. The special features of resonant laser-MS are high selectivity, rapidity, multicomponent capacity, and adaptability for application to many different problems. Beneath the fundamental principle of this analytical technique (i.e. REMPI and time-of-flight mass selection) several options are described in this article, such as medium or high resolution of mass selection and UV-spectroscopy. These options allow more or less sophisticated instrumentation and optimized adaptation to specific analytical problems. The reader will be introduced to the principles of resonant laser-MS and then to its history and the state-of-the-art of its application. This organization should help the reader to recognize the importance of the early experiments and of modern tendencies for application of laser-MS in trace analysis. The large experimental and instrumental variety and the tables of numerous researchers and applications presented in section 3 may demonstrate the flexibility and growing acceptance of resonant laser-MS. The examples presented, which illustrate the usefulness of resonant laser-MS in practice, include on-line trace analysis of emissions from combustion processes, e.g. from combustion engines or municipal incinerators. The article ends with a discussion of possible calibration processes, detection limits, and a summary of specific features.