We are developing a new approach coupling IR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry.
The new method (AIRLAB-MS) combine an atmospheric ionization device and a FTIR-Microscope. The two devices together will permit the usage of non-destructive IR imaging to determine the region of interest and then using an ablation laser on this region the sample evaporates and will be fully characterize by mass spectrometry.
For that an AIRLAB (for Ambient Infrared Laser Ablation Mass Spectrometry) has been installed into the infrared microscope of the beamline 1.4.4 at the ALS. This consist (See Fig 1) of a OPO infrared laser that hit the sample through the microscope. The high among of energy deposited leads to the creation of a plume composed with the sample material. This plume is caught by a liquid droplet (solvent) continually flowing to a macro-spray source that ionize the sample. The generated ions are then identified by mass spectrometry (Q-Tof)
In order to change between Infrared Imaging (FTIR) and Mass spectrometry (by laser ablation) a motorize switch mirror is installed between the ablation laser and the FTIR, this allow to switch quickly between the two modes and the guarantee a perfect alignment of the two technics (See Fig 2).