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Direct Analysis of Gold Nanoparticles from Dried Droplets Using Substrate-Assisted Laser Desorption Single Particle-ICPMS

Benešová, Iva, Dlabková, Kristýna, Zelenák, František, Vaculovič, Tomáš, Kanický, Viktor, Preisler, Jan
Analytical chemistry 2016 v.88 no.5 pp. 2576-2582
atomic absorption spectrometry, atomization, desorption, droplets, irradiation, nanogold, nanoparticles
Single particle inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (SP-ICPMS) has been generally accepted as a powerful tool in the field of nanoanalysis. The method has usually been restricted to direct nanoparticle (NP) introduction using nebulization or microdroplet generation systems. In this work, AuNPs are introduced into ICPMS by substrate-assisted laser desorption (SALD) directly from a suitable absorbing plastic surface using a commercial ablation cell for the first time. In SALD, desorption of individual NPs is mediated using a frequency-quintupled Nd:YAG laser (213 nm) operated at a rather low laser fluence. Conditions including laser fluence, laser beam scan rate, and carrier gas flow rate were optimized in order to gain the highest AuNP transport efficiency and avoid AuNP disintegration within the laser irradiation. The method was demonstrated on a well-characterized reference material, 56 nm AuNPs with a transport efficiency of 61% and commercially available 86 nm AuNPs. Feasibility of our technique for NP detection and characterization is discussed here, and the results are compared with an established technique, nebulizer SP-ICPMS.