Integrated Control Software for the icpTOF
Advantages of TOFpilot
The TOFpilot software greatly simplifies the workflow for the user by integrating control of the icpTOF with different sample introduction systems, such as laser ablation systems, single-particle, or autosamplers for solution analysis. TOFpilot operates on a module-basis which allows the user to set up different workflow sequences.
- Plasma startup and tuning-manual or automated
- Laser ablation imaging, including real-time display
- Single spot laser ablation analysis
- Liquid solution analysis
- Single particle and cell analysis
The TOFpilot software is a customizable module-based platform, allowing easy adaptation for specialized workflows. From auto-tuning steps to data acquistion and display, the user can set up a sequence of their choice to address different workflows for different common usage scenarios.
TOFpilot provides a central user interface to the different hardware components – ICP, TOF analyzer, data acquisition hardware, liquid autosamplers and laser ablation components. Where applicable, automatic parameters are suggested and software interaction is minimized so the user can concentrate on their measurements and analytical workflow.
From sample introduction, ion optics, CCT cell, to TOF parameters, TOFpilot seamlessly controls all operational instrument parameters within one program.The layout of the different functional blocks of settable parameters is fully configurable to the user’s requirements.
Instrument tuning is performed either manually through access to the instrument parameters, or through autotuning modules. Autotuning of detector sensitivity, ICP, and ion optics are provided at this stage. Tune settings are saved with a fully documented history of parameter changes.
Laser Ablation Imaging
The entire laser ablation process, including communication of TOFpilot with the laser software allows geometry information from the analysis ablation patterns to be received. TOFpilot displays a live preview of the laser ablation image during acquisition, allowing to quickly assess analysis quality. All relevant laser parameters, ablation patterns and operational instrument metadata is saved alongside the analysis data in one data file.
Routine Liquid Analysis
The Liquid –External Calibration module in TOFpilot allows setup of measurement sequences containing calibration standards and samples with unknown concentration. Quantification is done automatically after building and fitting of the calibration curve. TofPilot simplifies the workflow for routine analysis and is compatible with autosamplers for fast and automated sample introduction.
Single Particle Analysis
TofPilot is equipped with a particle analysis module, which allows for screening and quantification of particles. After measurements, the data is processed directly for particle number concentrations and particle mass distributions. Quantification is based on the method developed by Pace et al. (H. E. Pace, N. J. Rogers, C. Jarolimek, V. A. Coleman, C. P. Higgins, J. F. Ranville. Anal. Chem., 2011, 83, 9361-9369) using liquid standards for calibration and the particle size method for the determination of the transport efficiency. All results are summed in a report and are exported as csv-files to facilitate further post-processing in third-party software. Note that this module may also be used for single cell analysis.
Liquid reprocessing – Once the data has been measured, the data can be re-processed at any time in the liquid re-processing module.