Direct Analysis in Real Time mass spectrometry (DART-MS) is an emerging and rapidly developing area of ambient desorption ionization mass spectrometric techniques. Its coupling with planar chromatography is especially promising, as compared to other ambient desorption ionization techniques, because it does not require the use of liquids that may distort the shape of a spot by diffusion effects. In the first publications on TLC/HPTLC-DART-MS, due to the fixed, horizontally aligned supply of the gas flow from the DART ionization source to the MS inlet, the introduction of HPTLC/TLC plates as cut strips was inconvenient for quantitation, and the repeatability was very low due to the manual positioning. Recently a new version of the DART ion source was suggested, which allows adjusting the angle of the DART gas stream and the use of a motorized rail, thereby, improving highly the capabilities of TLC/HPTLC-DART-MS. This comprehensive review describes the development and analytical capabilities of TLC/HPTLC-DART-MS, and the general DART-MS perspectives for surface analysis or imaging MS. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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