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Anal Chem. 2009 Oct 15;81(20):8623-6. doi: 10.1021/ac901615k.

Femtogram detection and quantitation of residues using laser ionization orthogonal time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

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Department of Chemistry, Key Laboratory of Analytical Science, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361005, China.


A newly developed high irradiance laser ionization orthogonal time-of-flight mass spectrometer (LI-O-TOFMS) was employed for the elemental analysis of residues, which were prepared by evaporating mixed salt solutions. The residues were first characterized in terms of shape and elemental distribution. In TOFMS detection, all of the metal elements in the residue can be observed in the spectra. Relative sensitivity coefficients for different elements were within 1 order of magnitude, which meets semiquantitative analysis criteria. By calculating the individual masses from the ablated area due to a single laser shot, the absolute detection limit reached 7 x 10(-15) g for most metal elements. The results indicate that LI-O-TOFMS is capable of performing ultratrace elemental qualification and quantification, with an absolute limit of detection and an absolute limit of quantitation at the femtogram level.


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