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Issue 11, 2011
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Ambient mass spectrometry: Approaching the chemical analysis of things as they are

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Abstract

As G.E.F. Lundell once indicated, the goal of the analytical sciences is to provide the chemical analysis of things as they are; however, this concept is often ignored in the development, and especially in the use, of analytical techniques. The field of ambient desorption/ionization mass spectrometry seeks to reverse this trend by enabling direct, sensitive, and selective analysis of untreated samples. Because of this ability, significant interest has surrounded the field since its introduction in 2004. In fact, the response seems to follow a Hype Cycle model, in which we are currently at the peak of inflated expectations. To lessen the impact of negative hype (i.e. the trough of disillusionment), which could destroy the field, more effort must be expended on fundamentally understanding the processes involved in ambient mass-spectrometric analyses. Examples are cited here to illustrate the limitations of and fundamental research on plasma-based ambient desorption/ionization in an effort to evaluate the current state of the field.

Graphical abstract: Ambient mass spectrometry: Approaching the chemical analysis of things as they are

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Publication details

The article was received on 23 May 2011, accepted on 11 Aug 2011 and first published on 07 Sep 2011


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C1JA10158G
Citation: J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2011,26, 2153-2159

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    Ambient mass spectrometry: Approaching the chemical analysis of things as they are

    J. T. Shelley and G. M. Hieftje, J. Anal. At. Spectrom., 2011, 26, 2153
    DOI: 10.1039/C1JA10158G

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