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Increased Sensitivity In Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectrometry By Incorporation Of A Radio Frequency Ion Funnel.

S. Barber, R. S. Blake, I. R. White, P. Monks, F. Reich, S. Mullock, A. Ellis
Published 2012 · Chemistry, Medicine

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A drift tube capable of simultaneously functioning as an ion funnel is demonstrated in proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) for the first time. The ion funnel enables a much higher proportion of ions to exit the drift tube and enter the mass spectrometer than would otherwise be the case. An increase in the detection sensitivity for volatile organic compounds of between 1 and 2 orders of magnitude is delivered, as demonstrated using several compounds. Other aspects of analytical performance explored in this study include the effective E/N (ratio of electric field to number density of the gas) and dynamic range over which the drift tube is operated. The dual-purpose drift tube/ion funnel can be coupled to various types of mass spectrometers to increase the detection sensitivity and may therefore offer considerable benefits in PTR-MS work.
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