We propose and demonstrate an approach permitting direct imaging of the spatial distribution of gas-surface reaction products with <60 μm lateral spatial resolution using a velocity filtered ion imaging technique. We demonstrate direct imaging of the density of hydrogen deuteride (HD) molecules desorbed from a patterned platinum (Pt) thin film exposed to molecular beams of hydrogen (H2) and deuterium (D2). Resonance enhanced multiphoton absorption was performed with a 2 + 1 scheme through the E,F state using a nanosecond UV laser at ∼201 nm. The generated cations of HD, D2, and H2 were velocity filtered and accelerated with ion imaging optics toward a multichannel plate and phosphor screen. To reduce the significant image blur caused by the translational energy of the parent molecules, a grounded pinhole with 50 μm diameter is placed at the velocity-mapped imaging plane of the ion optics, which velocity-filters the ions that form the image of the near-surface origination plane, improving the ion imaging resolution by a factor of ∼10. The instrument demonstrates the capability to directly image catalytic output in the gas phase in the near-surface region with tens of micrometers of spatial resolution simultaneously with mass and molecular velocity resolution.

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