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Liquid-Phase Ion Trap for Ion Trapping, Transfer, and Sequential Ejection in Solutions

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journal contribution
posted on 15.06.2020, 04:43 by Jie Hong, Chenyue Hou, Zuqiang Xu, Muyi He, Wei Xu
In this study, a new method/mechanism to manipulate ions in solution was developed, based on which liquid-phase ion trap was built. In this liquid-phase ion trap, ion manipulations conventionally performed in a quadrupole ion trap or in a trapped ion mobility spectrometer placed in a vacuum were achieved in solutions. Through theoretical derivation and numerical simulation, it is found that ions have different motional characteristics than those in vacuum. Instead of a radio frequency quadrupole electric field, tunable DC electric fields together with a constant liquid flow were applied to control ion motions in solution. Different ions could be trapped and focused in a potential well, and ion densities could be increased by over 100-fold. By adjusting the DC electric field of the potential well, trapped ions could be transferred into another trapping region or sequentially released for detection. Ions released from the liquid-phase ion trap were then detected by a mass spectrometer interfaced with an electrospray ionization source. Since the ion manipulation mechanism in solution is different and complementary to that in vacuum, the use of a liquid-phase ion trap could also boost detection sensitivity and the mixture analysis capability of a mass spectrometer.