Performance of a microfluidic device for in situ ToF-SIMS analysis of selected organic molecules at aqueous surfaces

Li Yang, Zihua Zhu, Xiao Ying Yu, Suntharampillai Thevuthasan, James P. Cowin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, we report new results concerning the analytical performance of a novel portable vacuum compatible device enabling in situ study of aqueous surfaces using vacuum-based surface analysis tools. The surfaces of aqueous solutions of three representative organic molecules (formic acid, glycerol, and glutamic acid) were analyzed using time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). Their molecular signals were successfully observed. The device can be operated without interruption in vacuum for up to 8 hours, and SIMS measurements are feasible at any time in this time range. The stability testing of our device under primary ion beam bombardment shows that high fluence (6 × 1012 ions per cm2 s-1) measurements can be operated continuously for up to 30 minutes without any significant damage to the aperture. However, extra-high fluence measurements (>1 × 1014 ions per cm2 s-1) may lead to rapid boiling in the aperture, and the aqueous solutions may spread out quickly. Device reproducibility is studied for both consecutive measurements over a short period of time (e.g., 5 min) and intermittent measurements over a long time (e.g., several hours). The relative standard deviation (RSD) for molecular ion signals was determined to be less than 15% for consecutive measurements in 5 min. As to total counts, the RSD is determined to be less than 1% for each chemical compound. Higher RSDs of ±40-50% were obtained for intermittent measurements in a few hours, both acceptable for semi-quantitative analysis. In addition, the detection limits of formic acid, glycerol, and glutamic acid are estimated to be 0.04%, 0.008%, and 0.002% (weight ratio), respectively. This journal is

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2515-2522
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytical Methods
Volume5
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2013
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Secondary ion mass spectrometry
Microfluidics
formic acid
Molecules
Formic acid
Vacuum
Ions
Glycerol
Glutamic Acid
Chemical compounds
Acids
Surface analysis
Boiling liquids
Ion beams
Testing
Chemical analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Engineering(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)

Cite this

Performance of a microfluidic device for in situ ToF-SIMS analysis of selected organic molecules at aqueous surfaces. / Yang, Li; Zhu, Zihua; Yu, Xiao Ying; Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai; Cowin, James P.

In: Analytical Methods, Vol. 5, No. 10, 21.05.2013, p. 2515-2522.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yang, Li ; Zhu, Zihua ; Yu, Xiao Ying ; Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai ; Cowin, James P. / Performance of a microfluidic device for in situ ToF-SIMS analysis of selected organic molecules at aqueous surfaces. In: Analytical Methods. 2013 ; Vol. 5, No. 10. pp. 2515-2522.
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