An Integrated Hot-Stage Microscope–Direct Analysis in Real Time–Mass Spectrometry System for Studying the Thermal Behavior of Materials

This paper describes a new analytical instrument that combines a precisely temperature-controlled hot-stage with digital microscopy and Direct Analysis in Real Time–mass spectrometry (DART–MS) detection. The novelty of the instrument lies in its ability to monitor processes as a function of temperature through the simultaneous recording of images, quantitative color changes, and mass spectra. The capability of the instrument was demonstrated through successful application to four very varied systems including profiling an organic reaction, decomposition of silicone polymers, and the desorption of rhodamine B from an alumina surface. The multidimensional, real-time analytical data provided by this instrument allow for a much greater insight into thermal processes than could be achieved previously.