Julia Laskin - Purdue University
Mass spectrometry is a powerful analytical technique with applications ranging from forensics and environmental sciences to drug discovery and biological research. Research in my group is focused on the development of new mass spectrometry capabilities for the controlled preparation of novel materials and imaging of biological samples in their native state. In particular, we are developing new approaches for preparing uniform layers of well-defined active species on surfaces using soft-landing of mass-selected ions. These experiments harness the potential of mass spectrometry as a preparative tool that enables the precise control of ion composition, charge state, kinetic energy, and coverage. These studies provide a molecular-level understanding of processes affecting the stability and efficiency of technologically relevant electrode-electrolyte interfaces ubiquitous in energy production and storage devices. Another research direction is focused on the development of nanospray desorption electrospray ionization (nano-DESI), an ambient ionization technique that relies on localized liquid extraction of analyte molecules from the sample followed by soft ionization of extracted species at a mass spectrometer inlet. Nano-DESI enables label-free imaging of biomolecules in biological samples with minimal or no sample pre-treatment. This technique has been used for quantitative imaging of lipids and metabolites in tissues with high sensitivity and spatial resolution down to 8-10 microns.