Overview of Aston Labs Research

Development of new and novel mass spectrometric instrumentation, including miniature mass spectrometers.
These methods allow the ionization of samples in the ambient environment, that is, at atmospheric pressure and temperature. These techniques include DESI (desorption electrospray ionization) and DAPCI (desorption atmospheric pressure ionization) pioneered in our group since 2004, and low temperature plasma (LTP), since 2007.
In imaging mass spectrometry, molecules present on the surface of a solid sample are desorbed from the surface and transported to the mass spectrometer for analysis. One critical feature of the method is that the spatial information of the chemicals is preserved. A 2D image of the distribution of the chemicals can therefore be reconstructed.
Studies on solvent-free ions contribute to the understanding of reaction mechanisms. Traditionally conducted in the high vacuum environment of the mass spectrometer, our experiments are done under high pressure conditions in the ambient environment.
Application of DESI to distinguish differences between bacteria at the genus, species, and strain level.
Applications of mass spectrometry and ambient ionization methods to current problems in analytical chemistry
Soft-landing is the deposition of intact species on surfaces at low kinetic energies. Applications include purification of bio-molecules and preparation of protein microarrays and design of new catalysts.

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