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Published November 2014 | public
Journal Article Open

Ion Funnel Augmented Mars Atmospheric Pressure Photoionization Mass Spectrometry for In Situ Detection of Organic Molecules


Laser desorption is an attractive technique for in situ sampling of organics on Mars given its relative simplicity. We demonstrate that under simulated Martian conditions (~2.5 Torr CO_2) laser desorption of neutral species (e.g., polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), followed by ionization with a simple ultraviolet light source such as a discharge lamp, offers an effective means of sampling organics for detection and identification with a mass spectrometer. An electrodynamic ion funnel is employed to provide efficient ion collection in the ambient Martian environment. This experimental methodology enables in situ sampling of Martian organics with minimal complexity and maximum flexibility.

Additional Information

© 2014 American Society for Mass Spectrometry. Received: 20 February 2014;Revised: 12 May 2014;Accepted: 12 May 2014. This research was carried out at the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the Mass Spectrometry Resource Center in the Beckman Institute at the California Institute of Technology and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and funded through JPL's internal Research and Technology Development program.

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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023