Seminar with Dr. Rafael Bento Serpa- October 29, 2021 (friday) – 10:15 a.m.

25/10/2021 15:52

THE PHYSICS GRADUATE PROGRAM invites everyone to the seminar

Virtual-Slit Focusing in a Cycloidal Mass Spectrometer – A Proof of Concept

Dr. Rafael Bento Serpa

Postdoctoral Associate | Duke University Nanomaterials and Thin Films Lab


This work demonstrates a novel approach to mass spectrometry using the “virtual-slit” created by the small, spatial volume from which ions are generated by localized ionization techniques (e.g., laser ionization of particles and surfaces, and spark ionization). That is, the volume in which the ions are generated creates a localized source of ions in much the same way as a slit that allows only ions from a specific cross-sectional area to pass. As demonstrated in this work, the unique perfect focusing properties of a cycloidal mass analyzer can enable the localized ionization volume to function as a virtual slit. In this manuscript, we provide a proof-of-concept (POC) demonstration of a virtual-slit cycloidal mass spectrometer (VS-CyMaS) consisting of a cycloidal mass analyzer, a laser ionization source, and an ion array detector. The laser is used to ionize either bulk or thin-film samples of Cu, Ti, Ni, and Cr. Results indicate that the width of the peaks at the detector is the same as the laser spot size, validating the concept of virtual-slit focusing. Furthermore, the material ablated with each laser pulse for Ti and Cu is estimated at 60 and 140 fg, respectively, indicating that a very low detection limit is possible given the ability of the cycloidal mass analyzer to collect ions generated by laser ionization that have wide energy and angular dispersions.

Date: October 29, 2021 – (friday) – Time: 10:15 a.m.

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