Photo of Hanley, Luke

Luke Hanley

LAS Distinguished Professor



5417-1 (red door) SES, MC 111

Office Phone:

(312) 996-0945

CV Link:

Luke Hanley


Photoionization is the event in which an atom, molecule, cluster, or solid is illuminated with light and thereby ejects an electron, leaving behind a positive charge. Photoionization is the initiating event for most of the various experimental methods central to my research: ultrashort pulse laser ablation of solid material, photoionization of gas phase molecules, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy of surfaces. Our research applies photoionization to surface chemical analysis to address problems in analytical chemistry, mass spectrometry, microbiology, bioengineering, and surface science. This work often requires us to construct novel instrumentation in our own laboratory, but we also use advanced instrumentation located in UIC’s centralized instrumentation facility (the Research Resources Center) or synchrotron radiation research user facilities.

  • Laser Desorption Postionization Mass Spectrometric Imaging of Biofilms & Organic Films. Mass spectrometric imaging is used to probe bacterial biofilms, mammalian tissues, and other complex organic films with micron lateral and depth resolution. Molecular and elemental species are detected within intact samples in a method we have advanced called laser desorption postionization mass spectrometry (LDPI-MS) imaging. We mostly use LDPI-MS imaging and ancillary methods to probe metabolites, antibiotics, proteins, and peptides within intact biofilms with the ultimate goal of advancing novel methods of biofilm control.
  • Applying Methods of Advanced Surface Analysis. We also use X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and related methods to probe elemental and functional group composition of surfaces. This work has also led us to the use of ultraviolet photoelectron spectroscopy, near edge X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray surface scattering, transmission and scanning electron microscopy, linear and nonlinear optical absorption of films, quartz crystal microbalance measurement of film deposition or removal, X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, and profilometry.


A picture that shows a laser breaking down a material, which is then fed into a mass spectrometer.

Selected Publications

Since 2011 only, out of 131 total refereed & 15 non-refereed. Senior author is underlined.

134. “Laser desorption combined with laser postionization for mass spectrometry”, L. Hanley, R. Wickramasinghe, and Y.P. Yung, Annu. Rev. Anal. Chem. 12 (2019) invited review, now online:
133. “Femtosecond laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry imaging and multivariate analysis of lipids in pancreatic tissue”, A.V. Walker, L.D. Gelb, G.E. Barry, P. Subanajouy, A. Poudel, M. Hara, I.V. Veryovkin, G.I. Bell, and L. Hanley, Biointerphases 13 (2018) 03B416.
132. “Competitive resource allocation to metabolic pathways contributes to overflow metabolisms and emergent properties in cross feeding consortia”, R.P. Carlson, A.E. Beck, P. Phalak, M.W. Fields, T. Gedeon, L. Hanley, W.R. Harcombe, M.A. Henson, and J.J. Heys, Biochem. Soc. Trans. 46 (2018) 269-284.
131. “Solid sampling with a diode laser for portable ambient mass spectrometry”, Y.P. Yung, R. Wickramasinghe, A. Vaikkinen, T.J. Kauppila, I.V. Veryovkin, and L. Hanley, Anal. Chem. 89 (2017) 7297-7301., PMCID: PMC5518277
130. “Metal impurity-assisted formation of nanocone arrays on Si by low energy ion-beam irradiation”, K. Steeves Lloyd, I.L. Bolotin, M. Schmeling, L. Hanley, I.V. Veryovkin, Surf. Sci. 652 (2016) 334-343.
129. “ChiMS: Open-source instrument control software platform on LabVIEW for imaging/depth profiling mass spectrometers”, Y. Cui and L. Hanley, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 86 (2015) 065106. PMCID: 4482810
128. “High lateral resolution vs. molecular preservation in near-IR fs-laser desorption postionization mass spectrometry”, Y. Cui, I.V. Veryovkin, M.W. Majeski, D.R. Cavazos, and L. Hanley, Anal. Chem. 87 (2015) 367-371. (open access)
127. “Internal energy of thermometer ions formed by femtosecond laser desorption: Implications for mass spectrometric imaging”, S. Milasinovic, Y. Cui, R.J. Gordon and L. Hanley, J. Phys. Chem. C 118 (2014) 28938-28947. (open access)
126. “Cluster beam deposition of Cu2-X­S nanoparticles into organic thin films”, M.W. Majeski, I.L. Bolotin, and L. Hanley, ACS Appl. Mater. Interf. 6 (2014) 12901-12908.
125. “Ion sources for mass spectrometric identification and imaging of molecular species”, C. Bhardwaj and L. Hanley, Nat. Prod. Rep. 31 (2014) 756-767.
124. “Differentiation of microbial species and strains in coculture biofilms by multivariate analysis of laser desorption postionization mass spectra”, C. Bhardwaj, Y. Cui, T. Hofstetter, S.Y. Liu, H.C. Bernstein, R.P. Carlson, M. Ahmed, and L. Hanley, Analyst 138 (2013) 6844-6851., PMCID: 3833099
123. “Molecular imaging and depth profiling of biomaterials interfaces by femtosecond laser desorption postionization mass spectrometry, Y. Cui, C. Bhardwaj, S. Milasinovic, R.P. Carlson, R.J. Gordon, and L. Hanley, ACS Appl. Mater. Interf. 5 (2013) 9269-9275.
122. “Laser desorption VUV postionization MS imaging of a cocultured biofilm”, by C. Bhardwaj, J.F. Moore, Y. Cui, G.L. Gasper, H.C. Bernstein, R.P. Carlson, and L. Hanley, Anal. Bioanal. Chem. 405 (2013) 6969-6977., PMCID: PMC3566334.
121. “Quantification of antibiotic in biofilm-inhibiting multilayers by 7.87 eV laser desorption postionization MS imaging”, M. Blaze M. T., A. Akhmetov, B. Aydin, P.D. Edirisinghe, G. Uygur, and L. Hanley, Anal. Chem. 84 (2012) 9410-9415., PMCID: 3491138.
120. “Acetylene ion-enhanced bonding of PbS nanoparticles to quaterthiophene in thin films”, by F.D. Pleticha, D. Lee, S.B. Sinnott, I.L. Bolotin, M.W. Majeski, and L. Hanley, J. Phys. Chem. C 116 (2012) 21693-21698.
119. “Depth profiling and imaging capabilities of an ultrashort pulse laser ablation time of flight mass spectrometer”, Y. Cui, J.F. Moore, S. Milasinovic, Y. Liu, R.J. Gordon, and L. Hanley, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 83 (2012) 093702., PMCID: PMC3461015
118. “Identification and imaging of peptides and proteins on Enterococcus faecalis biofilms by matrix assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry”, M. Blaze M. T., B. Aydin, R. Carlson, and L. Hanley, Analyst 137 (2012) 5018-5025., PMCID: PMC3654527.
117. “Photoresponse of PbS nanoparticle - quaterthiophene films prepared by gaseous deposition as probed by XPS,” M.W. Majeski, F.D. Pleticha, I.L. Bolotin, L. Hanley, E. Yilmaz and S. Suzer, J. Vac. Sci. Technol. 30 (2012) 04D109.
116. “Feasibility of depth profiling of animal tissue by ultrashort pulse laser ablation,” S. Milasinovic, Y. Liu, C. Bhardwaj, M. Blaze M.T., R.J. Gordon and L. Hanley, Anal. Chem. 84 (2012) 3945-3951., PMCID: PMC3371643
115. “Cluster beam deposition of metal, insulator, and semiconductor nanoparticles”, A.M. Zachary, I.L. Bolotin, and L. Hanley, in “Nanofabrication using Focused Ion and Electron Beams: Principles and Applications”, I. Utke, S. Moshkalev, and P. Russell, eds. (Oxford University Press, 2012), 457-485, ISBN: 978-0-19-973421-4.
114. “Brominated tyrosine and polyelectrolyte multilayer analysis by laser desorption VUV postionization and secondary ion mass spectrometry”, M. Blaze M.T., L.K. Takahashi, J. Zhou, M. Ahmed, G.L. Gasper, F.D. Pleticha, and L. Hanley, Anal. Chem. 83 (2011) 4962-4969, PMCID: PMC3115520

Notable Honors

1994-1999, National Science Foundation Young Invest, National Science Foundation

1995-1998, UIC Junior Scholar, UIC

1997, Teaching Recognition Award, UIC


University of Toronto, 1983
PhD, State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1988
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, 1988-1990