The Nizkorodov group at UCI and J. Laskin and A. Laskin groups at PNNL described the first application of nano-DESI in a reactive mode for characterization of organic aerosols.
In a recent paper highlighted on the cover of Analytical Chemistry, they demonstrated that nano-DESI, a new ambient surface ionization method invented at PNNL, can detect and quantify carbonyl compounds in organic aerosols. To accomplish this, the researchers added Girard’s reagent T to the nano-DESI working solvent, which selectively converted carbonyls in the aerosol samples into positively charged ions. The ions were analyzed by a high-resolution mass spectrometer at different concentrations of Girard’s reagent T in the solvent. The method was capable of detecting less than one pictogram of the target compounds. The PNNL/UCI research team is now working on developing and testing other practical tags for reactive nano-DESI measurements of other functional groups in organic aerosols.