Analysis of pesticides by gas chromatography/multiphoton ionization/mass spectrometry using a femtosecond laser

Adan Li, Tomoko Imasaka, Tomohiro Uchimura, Totaro Imasaka

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Gas chromatography/multiphoton ionization/time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC/MPI/TOFMS) was utilized for analysis of a standard mixture sample containing 49 pesticides and 4 real samples using the third-harmonic emission (267. nm) of a femtosecond Ti:sapphire laser (100. fs) as the ionization source. A sample of a standard mixture of n-alkane was also measured for calibration of the retention time indices of the pesticides. Two photons are required for the excitation of n-alkane due to an absorption band located in the far ultraviolet region (140. nm). The n-alkane molecule in the excited state was subsequently ionized either directly or by absorbing another photon because of a high ionization potential. Due to a large excess of energy, the molecular ion was decomposed and formed many fragment ions. Compared to n-alkanes, most of the pesticides were softly ionized by the femtosecond laser; one photon was used for excitation and another was used for the subsequent ionization. The pesticides with no conjugated double bond had a lower ionization efficiency. The present analytical instrument was applied to several samples prepared from a variety of vegetables and a single fruit after pretreatment with solid-phase extraction. Three pesticides were found in these samples, although some of them were not detected by conventional GC/EI/MS-MS due to insufficient sensitivity and selectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Spectroscopy


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