Plasma-based ambient mass spectrometry techniques: The current status and future prospective

Authors

  • Xuelu Ding,

    1. Research Center of Analytical Instrumentation, Analytical Testing Center and College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
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  • Yixiang Duan

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Center of Analytical Instrumentation, Analytical Testing Center and College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, Chengdu, China
    • Correspondence to: Yixiang Duan, Research Center of Analytical Instrumentation, Sichuan University, 29 Wangjiang Road, Chengdu 610064, China. E-mail: yduan@scu.edu.cn

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Abstract

Plasma-based ambient mass spectrometry is emerging as a frontier technology for direct analysis of sample that employs low-energy plasma as the ionization reagent. The versatile sources of ambient mass spectrometry (MS) can be classified according to the plasma formation approaches; namely, corona discharge, glow discharge, dielectric barrier discharge, and microwave-induced discharge. These techniques allow pretreatment-free detection of samples, ranging from biological materials (e.g., flies, bacteria, plants, tissues, peptides, metabolites, and lipids) to pharmaceuticals, food-stuffs, polymers, chemical warfare reagents, and daily-use chemicals. In most cases, plasma-based ambient MS performs well as a qualitative tool and as an analyzer for semi-quantitation. Herein, we provide an overview of the key concepts, mechanisms, and applications of plasma-based ambient MS techniques, and discuss the challenges and outlook. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Mass Spec Rev 34: 449–473, 2015.

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