Chalcophile chemistry for enhanced detection of copper in its compounds and minerals

Rohan Mehta, Zhaoyu Zheng, Julius Pavlov, Athula Attygalle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Samples of elemental copper, upon laser irradiation under negative-ion LDI-MS conditions, do not generate noticeable signals for copper-bearing gaseous ions. In contrast, a several thousand-fold enhancement of the generated ion current was observed when freshly made mixtures of copper and sulfur powders were laser-ablated. Time-of-flight mass spectra recorded showed a range of peaks with m/z ratios extending to over m/z 8000, indicating the formation in situ of an array of Cu–S ion clusters by a chemical reaction that takes place between the two elements upon laser irradiation. Evidently, sulfur acts as a potent reactive matrix and generates at least three distinguishable series of ion clusters: Cu 1 S x (x = 2, 3, 4…), Cu 2 S y [rad] (y = 3, 4, 5…), and Cu 3 S z (z = 3, 4, 5…). Laser ablation of CuS alone did not produce signals beyond m/z 600. Some of the high-mass ions formed in this manner were isobaric; consequently, composite peaks were observed under low-resolution MS conditions. Under high-resolution conditions, however, we were able to separate and determine the composition of some isobaric mixtures. For example, the peak recorded at m/z 287 was resolved to two peaks that represented primarily the 63 Cu 2 65 Cu 32 S 3 and 63 Cu 32 S 7 ions. Intriguingly, the spectra recorded from many copper-containing minerals mixed with sulfur were remarkably similar to those acquired from copper-and-sulfur mixtures, which demonstrated that elemental sulfur has the ability to extract chemically bound copper even from its compounds, and form gas-phase Cu–S clusters of varying composition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-136
Number of pages10
JournalPolyhedron
Volume167
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2019

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Minerals
Copper
Sulfur
minerals
Ions
chemistry
sulfur
copper
Laser beam effects
ions
Bearings (structural)
lasers
irradiation
Laser ablation
Chemical analysis
Chemical elements
negative ions
Powders
ion currents
mass spectra

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

Cite this

Mehta, Rohan ; Zheng, Zhaoyu ; Pavlov, Julius ; Attygalle, Athula. / Chalcophile chemistry for enhanced detection of copper in its compounds and minerals. In: Polyhedron. 2019 ; Vol. 167. pp. 127-136.
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Chalcophile chemistry for enhanced detection of copper in its compounds and minerals. / Mehta, Rohan; Zheng, Zhaoyu; Pavlov, Julius; Attygalle, Athula.

In: Polyhedron, Vol. 167, 15.07.2019, p. 127-136.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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