Quantitative elemental analysis with the LMS-GT; a next-generation LIMS-TOF instrument

de Koning, Coenraad P.; Gruchola, Salome; Riedo, Andreas; Wiesendanger, Reto; Grimaudo, Valentine; Lukmanov, Rustam; Ligterink, Niels F. W.; Tulej, Marek; Wurz, Peter (2021). Quantitative elemental analysis with the LMS-GT; a next-generation LIMS-TOF instrument. International journal of mass spectrometry, 470, p. 116662. Elsevier 10.1016/j.ijms.2021.116662

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Laser ablation is a highly suitable and widely applied technique for direct sampling of solid materials. The Laser Mass Spectrometer – Gran Turismo (LMS-GT), a Femtosecond Laser Ablation Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer with a mass resolution exceeding 10,000 (m/Δm at full-width half-maximum), was recently developed at the University of Bern with the aim of minimizing isobaric interferences and consequently improving the performance of the LIMS measurement technique for the quantification of the chemical composition of solids. To assess the quantitative performance of LMS-GT, mass spectrometric analysis of three NIST steel standard reference materials was conducted. The presented study shows that the achieved mass resolution of up to 12,000 is accompanied by high mean mass accuracy better than 10 ppm, with some elements displaying a deviation up to 100 ppm. Combined, these instrumental characteristics minimize isobaric interferences, which aids in confident identification and quantification of the chemical composition of solids. Limits of detection in the ppb-range and a linear dynamic range of over six orders of magnitude were achieved. Relative sensitivity coefficients were determined to lie between 0.5 and 5 for elements unaffected by loss of signal amplification with respect to the published values for bulk abundances. The lateral resolution of several micrometers achieved with LMS-GT allowed information on sample homogeneity at a micrometer scale to be acquired, with several elements (e.g., Mg, S, and Ca) showing variations in local abundances spanning a full order of magnitude. The combination of detection sensitivity, high mass resolution, and lateral resolution at the single-digit micrometer scale (down to ~2 μm) gives the LMS-GT the potential to be an interesting analytical tool for element analysis of solid samples, and represents a step forward for laser ablation ionization mass spectrometry as a measurement technique. However, steps to ensure a smaller range in relative sensitivity values, e.g., switching to UV laser irradiation, are required to further enhance the quantitative performance of this instrument, especially in case no reference material is available for quantification.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute > Space Research and Planetary Sciences
08 Faculty of Science > Physics Institute
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Space and Habitability (CSH)

UniBE Contributor:

de Koning, Coenraad Pieter, Gruchola, Salome Noemi, Riedo, Andreas, Wiesendanger, Reto, Riedo, Valentine, Lukmanov, Rustam, Ligterink, Niels Frank Willem, Tulej, Marek, Wurz, Peter


500 Science > 520 Astronomy
500 Science > 530 Physics
600 Technology > 620 Engineering








Dora Ursula Zimmerer

Date Deposited:

20 Jul 2021 11:43

Last Modified:

03 Jul 2023 00:25

Publisher DOI:






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