Application of Two-Step Laser Mass Spectrometry to Cosmogeochemistry: Direct Analysis of Meteorites

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Science  25 Mar 1988:
Vol. 239, Issue 4847, pp. 1523-1525
DOI: 10.1126/science.239.4847.1523


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in C1, C2, and C3 carbonaceous chondrites and in some ordinary chondrites have been directly analyzed by two-step laser desorption/ laser multiphoton ionization mass spectrometry, a selective and sensitive method requiring only milligram samples. At the ionization wavelength of 266 nanometers, parent ion peaks of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons dominate the mass spectra. Quantitative analysis is possible; as an example, the concentration of phenanthrene in the Murchison meteorite was determined to be 5.0 parts per million.