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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

Improving the Sensitivity of Mass Spectrometry by Using a New Sheath Flow Electrospray Emitter Array at Subambient Pressures.

TitleImproving the Sensitivity of Mass Spectrometry by Using a New Sheath Flow Electrospray Emitter Array at Subambient Pressures.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsCox JT, Marginean I, Kelly RT, Smith RD, Tang K
JournalJ Am Soc Mass Spectrom
Abstract

Arrays of chemically etched emitters with individualized sheath gas capillaries were developed to enhance electrospray ionization (ESI) efficiency at subambient pressures. By incorporating the new emitter array in a subambient pressure ionization with nanoelectrospray (SPIN) source, both ionization efficiency and ion transmission efficiency were significantly increased, providing enhanced sensitivity in mass spectrometric analyses. The SPIN source eliminates the major ion losses of conventional ESI-mass spectrometry (MS) interfaces by placing the emitter in the first reduced pressure region of the instrument. The new ESI emitter array design developed in this study allows individualized sheath gas around each emitter in the array making it possible to generate an array of uniform and stable electrosprays in the subambient pressure (10 to 30 Torr) environment for the first time. The utility of the new emitter arrays was demonstrated by coupling the emitter array/SPIN source with a time of flight (TOF) mass spectrometer. The instrument sensitivity was compared under different ESI source and interface configurations including a standard atmospheric pressure single ESI emitter/heated capillary, single emitter/SPIN and multi-emitter/SPIN configurations using an equimolar solution of nine peptides. The highest instrument sensitivity was observed using the multi-emitter/SPIN configuration in which the sensitivity increased with the number of emitters in the array. Over an order of magnitude MS sensitivity improvement was achieved using multi-emitter/SPIN compared with using the standard atmospheric pressure single ESI emitter/heated capillary interface.

DOI10.1007/s13361-014-0856-5
Alternate JournalJ. Am. Soc. Mass Spectrom.
PubMed ID24676894
Area of Research: 
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