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Chemical Imaging

The creation of chemical images as 2- and 3-dimensional representations of the elemental and isotopic distributions in physical and biological structures has gained significant importance for the spatially distinct analysis and interpretation of analytical data. As the principle of ‘chemical imaging’ can be applied across multiple scales combining multiple information levels and multiple commodities, e.g. by combining the information from single cells to higher hierarchical levels, like a complete animal, or by linking single compartments or plant and animal species to landscape information (‘isoscapes’), it is increasingly applied in a wide field of scientific disciplines. This chapter introduces secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma sector field mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-SFMS) as sensitive surface analytical techniques capable of performing direct solid analysis at the micrometre down to the nanometre scale for the production of high-resolution chemical images. The basic analytical background and key elements in the image creation process using SIMS and LA-ICP-MS are described. Software tools supporting data reduction and image production together with selected examples of chemical pictures and case studies are also given.

Print publication date: 26 Nov 2014
Copyright year: 2015
Print ISBN: 978-1-84973-392-2
PDF eISBN: 978-1-84973-540-7
ePub eISBN: 978-1-78262-356-4