Detection of Aromatic Organic Species in 2008 TC3 by Two-Step Laser Mass Spectrometry

Amy L. Morrow, Stanford Universiy, Department of Chemistry, Palo Alto, USA
In order to investigate the presnce of organic materials, specifically polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), we applied two-step laser desorption laser ionization mass spectrometry (L2MS) to selected 2008 TC3 fragments. In this technique, a pulsed infrared laser is used to desorb neutral species from the surface of a sample and, after a time delay to allow plume development, PAHs are selectively ionized via (1+1) REMPI and analyzed using a time-of-flight mass spectrometer. In this study, the bulk PAH composition of a large number of fragments was analyzed. In addition, the spatial distributions of PAHs were mapped for two unmodified samples. These results as well as a discussion of sources of terrestrial organic contamination will be presented.