Document Type



Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor's Name

Francisco A. Fernandez-Lima

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Piero Gardinali

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Jeffrey Joens

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Mass Spectrometry, Analytical Chemistry, Scientific Instrumentation Development, Focused Ion Beams, Surface Analysis, Mass Spectrometry Imaging, Nanoscale Imaging

Date of Defense



Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) is a powerful technique for high spatial resolution chemical mapping and characterization of native surfaces. The use of massive cluster projectiles has been shown to extend the applicable mass range of SIMS and improve secondary ion yields 100 fold or beyond. These large projectiles however, present a challenge in terms of focusing due to the initial spatial and kinetic energy spreads inherent to their generation. In the present work, we describe the development and construction of a novel primary ion (PI) column employing a gold nanoparticle – liquid metal ion source (AuNP-LMIS) and the coupling to ultrahigh resolution mass spectrometers (e.g., Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometer, FT-ICR MS) for accurate chemical characterization of complex biological surfaces. This work describes the ion dynamics, development and the experimental characterization of the AuNP-LMIS.





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