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Novel Image Metrics for Retrieval of the Lateral Resolution in Line Scan-Based 2D LA-ICPMS Imaging via an Experimental-Modeling Approach

van Elteren, Johannes Teun, Izmer, Andrei, Šelih, Vid Simon, Vanhaecke, Frank
Analytical chemistry 2016 v.88 no.14 pp. 7413-7420
aerosols, databases, image analysis, systems engineering
The quality of elemental image maps obtained via line scan-based LA-ICPMS is a function of the temporal response of the entire system, governed by the design of the system and mapping and acquisition conditions used, next to the characteristics of the sample. To quantify image degradation, ablation targets with periodic gratings are required for the construction of a modulation transfer function (MTF) and subsequent determination of the lateral resolution as a function of image noise and contrast. Since such ablation targets, with suitable matrix composition, are not readily available, computer-generated periodic gratings were virtually ablated via a computational process based on a two-step discrete-time convolution procedure using empirical/experimental input data. This experimental-modeling procedure simulates LA-ICPMS imaging based on two consecutive processes, viz., LA sampling (via ablation crater profiles [ACP]) and aerosol washout/transfer/ICPMS measurement (via single pulse responses [SPR]). By random selection of experimental SPRs from a large database for each individual pulse during the simulation, the convolution procedure simulates an accurate elemental image map of the periodic gratings with realistic (proportional or flicker) noise. This facilitates indirect retrieval of the experimental lateral resolution for the matrix targeted without performing actual line scanning on periodic gratings.