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Improved ion imaging of slowly dried neurons and skin cells by graphene cover in time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry
- Improved ion imaging of slowly dried neurons and skin cells by graphene cover in time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry
- Lee, Sun Young; Lim, Heejin; Moon, DaeWon; Kim, Jae Young
- DGIST Authors
- Kim, Jae Young
- Issue Date
- Biointerphases, 14(5), 051001
- Article Type
- TOF-SIMS; SAMPLE PREPARATION; THIN-FILMS; LIPIDS
- Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) is a powerful tool to obtain both chemical information and spatial distribution of specific molecules of interest on a specimen surface. However, since the focused ion beam requires ultrahigh vacuum conditions for desorption and ionization of analytes, proper specimen preparation, such as drying, freeze-drying, and frozen dehydration, is required for ToF-SIMS analysis. In particular, biological specimens with high moisture content generally have a problem of specimen deformation during the normal drying process for a vacuum environment. In this study, the authors propose a cellular specimen preparation method to improve the ion imaging of cells by reducing the deformation of specimens in ToF-SIMS analysis. When the cells on the slide substrate are completely covered with single-layer graphene, the ToF-SIMS imaging is improved by reduced cell deformation due to slow drying. In addition, the graphene encapsulation also induces a reduction in the yield of secondary ions, thereby suppressing the background ion spectra generated by the unwanted organic residues on the substrate, resulting in the improvement of ToF-SIMS imaging. The authors also found that adding plasma treatment to this sample preparation can further improve ion imaging of cells. After cell dehydration is completed, the covered graphene layer can be peeled off by air-plasma treatment and the unwanted organic residues on the substrate can be removed due to plasma cleaning, thereby much improving ion imaging of cells. © 2019 Author(s).
- American Vacuum Society
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