LITHMOS: Laser Induced Thermomechanical Stress

Laser-induced acoustic desorption is a minimally-invasive method to launch neutral molecules from chlorophyll up to single bacteria at velocities between 10-200 m/s depending on particle mass, launch substrate and laser energy. 

A nanosecond pulsed laser beam is directed onto the backside of an opaque thin (10-20 µm) metal foil. The ablated metal plasma provides heat transfer and an acoustic shock to the substrate, the combination of which releases molecules and nanoparticles from the front side, which has never seen the laser light.

We have observed intact chlorophyll with 200 m/s and  tailored porphyrin derivatives at 10 000 amu with velocities down to 20 m/s [1]


  • U. Sezer, L. Wörner, J. Horak, L. Felix, J. Tüxen, C. Götz, A. Vaziri, M. Mayor, M. Arndt, Laser-induced acoustic desorption of natural and functionalized biochromophores, Analytical Chemistr 87  5614–5619 (2015).