Boosting the Sensitivity and Selectivity of a Miniature Mass Spectrometer Using a Hybrid Ion Funnel.Anal Chem 2019; 91(12):7911-7919AC
Besides high portability, high analytical performances are also crucial concerns for a miniature mass spectrometer to meet the demands in in situ analysis. As a continuous effort in improving analytical performances of the miniature mass spectrometer with continuous atmospheric pressure interface, a hybrid ion funnel was developed and coupled into the system in this study. The hybrid ion funnel consisted of a rectangular ion funnel region and a planar quadrupole field region, which were fabricated by the printed circuit board technology. After systematic optimization, a limit of detection of 1 ng/mL was obtained, which was improved by 10 folds relative to that of 10 ng/mL previously reported for the miniature mass spectrometer. Besides improved ion transmission efficiency, this hybrid ion funnel was also capable of filtering ions according to their mobilities, thus improving the system selectivity. This capability was demonstrated by separation and selective transmission of protein ions at different charge states, reserpine in PEG background and isobaric peptide ions. Resolution of this system was also tested by analyzing isotopic peaks of reserpine. The ppb-level detection sensitivity and isotope resolving capability achieved in this work would greatly expand the application range of miniature mass spectrometers.