An apparatus and process are disclosed that deliver an analyte deposited on a substrate to a mass spectrometer that provides for trace analysis of complex organic analytes. Analytes are probed using a small droplet of solvent that is formed at the junction between two capillaries. A supply capillary maintains the droplet of solvent on the substrate; a collection capillary collects analyte desorbed from the surface and emits analyte ions as a focused spray to the inlet of a mass spectrometer for analysis. The invention enables efficient separation of desorption and ionization events, providing enhanced control over transport and ionization of the analyte.
STATEMENT REGARDING RIGHTS TO INVENTION MADE UNDER FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Contract DE-AC05-76RLO1830 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.