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Discrimination of enantiomers by means of broadband femtosecond-circular dichroism-laser ionization mass spectrometry (CD-LIMS)

The invention at hand provides for the first time a combination of broadband circularly polarized femtosecond laser radiation with laser ionization mass spectrometry (LIMS) in a circular dichroic application.<p>

The enantiomer-specific light-matter interaction is used directly for ionization, so that a separation of substance mixtures is no longer required. Hereby, circularly polarized femtosecond laser pulses are applied whose central wavelength is in the range of 200 nm to 1100 nm and whose bandwidth is very large. In the limit of a very broad white-light continuum, the fs laser pulse intrinsically contains the wavelengths which are suitable for the respective molecule. The chemical sample to be analyzed is ionized by means of this broad-band laser radiation and analyzed by mass spectrometry immediately afterwards. The chemical substance to be analyzed can be a single chemical substance or a mixture of several chemical substances, respectively, wherein any substance contained in the sample can be enantiomerically pure, or present in the form of an enantiomeric mixture.<p> The femtosecond laser pulse used in the device and the method according to the present invention ensures the intensity which is required for the ionization and fragmentation of the substances to be analyzed. During irradiation with the femtosecond laser pulse, it is constantly switching between RCPL and LPCL. i.e. between right-circularly and left-circularly polarized light, and the respective ion yield is measured.<p>

Furthermore, the inventors have developed software for the analysis of the obtained data.

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Dr. Peter Stumpf | TechnologieAllianz e.V.
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