Development of a High-Throughput Laser-Induced Acoustic Desorption Probe and Raster Sampling For Laser-Induced Acoustic Desorption/Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization
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Laser-induced acoustic desorption (LIAD) was recently coupled to atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (APCI) and shown to be of great utility for the analysis of a variety of thermally labile nonpolar analytes that are not amenable to ionization via electrospray ionization, such as nonvolatile hydrocarbons. Despite these advancements, LIAD still suffered from several limitations, including only being able to sample a small fraction of the analyte molecules deposited on a Ti foil for desorption, poor reproducibility, as well as limited laser power throughput to the backside of the foil. These limitations severely hinder the analysis of especially challenging analytes, such as asphaltenes. To address these issues, a novel high-throughput LIAD probe and an assembly for raster sampling of a LIAD foil were designed, constructed, and tested. The new probe design allows 98% of the initial laser power to be realized at the backside of the foil over the 25% achieved previously, thus improving reproducibility and allowing for the analysis of large nonvolatile analytes, including asphaltenes. The raster assembly provided a 5.7 fold increase in the surface area of a LIAD foil that could be sampled and improved reproducibility and sensitivity for LIAD experiments. The raster assembly can also improve throughput as foils containing multiple analytes can be prepared and analyzed.