Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 25, 2018
Previous Article Next Article

Brimstone chemistry under laser light assists mass spectrometric detection and imaging the distribution of arsenic in minerals

Author affiliations

Abstract

Singly charged As2n+1 ion clusters (n = 2–11) were generated from elemental arsenic by negative-ion laser-ablation mass spectrometry. The overall abundance of the gaseous As ions generated upon laser irradiation was enhanced nearly a hundred times when As-bearing samples were admixed with sulfur. However, sulfur does not act purely as an inert matrix: irradiating arsenic-sulfur mixtures revealed a novel pathway to generate and detect a series of [AsSn] clusters (n = 2–6). Intriguingly, the spectra recorded from As2O3, NaAsO2, Na3AsO4, cacodylic acid and 3-amino-4-hydroxyphenylarsonic acid together with sulfur as the matrix were remarkably similar to that acquired from an elemental arsenic and sulfur mixture. This result indicated that arsenic sulfide cluster-ions are generated directly from arsenic compounds by a hitherto unknown pathway. The mechanism of elemental sulfur extracting chemically bound arsenic from compounds and forming [AsSn] clusters is enigmatic; however, this discovery has a practical value as a general detection method for arsenic compounds. For example, the method was employed for the detection of As in its minerals, and for the imaging of arsenic distribution in minerals such as domeykite. LDI-MS data recorded from a latent image imprinted on a piece of paper from a flat mineral surface, and wetting the paper with a solution of sulfur, enabled the localization of arsenic in the mineral. The distribution of As was visualized as false-color images by extracting from acquired data the relative intensities of m/z 139 (AsS2) and m/z 171 (AsS3) ions.

Graphical abstract: Brimstone chemistry under laser light assists mass spectrometric detection and imaging the distribution of arsenic in minerals

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Publication details

The article was received on 19 Mar 2018, accepted on 15 May 2018 and first published on 15 May 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8DT01042K
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2018,47, 8221-8228
  •   Request permissions

    Brimstone chemistry under laser light assists mass spectrometric detection and imaging the distribution of arsenic in minerals

    S. Lal, Z. Zheng, J. Pavlov and A. B. Attygalle, Dalton Trans., 2018, 47, 8221
    DOI: 10.1039/C8DT01042K

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements