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High-Resolution High Kinetic Energy Ion Mobility Spectrometer Based on a Low-Discrimination Tristate Ion Shutter

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posted on 06.04.2018 by Ansgar T. Kirk, Denise Grube, Tim Kobelt, Cornelius Wendt, Stefan Zimmermann
High kinetic energy ion mobility spectrometry (HiKE-IMS) allows for sensitive trace gas analysis within seconds, mitigating many disadvantages of standard ion mobility spectrometers through operation at reduced pressure and high electric field strengths. However, these advantages usually come at the cost of reduced resolving power, ranging from a maximum of 75 down to 50 at a reduced field strength of 120 Td for the original device. In this work, we present an extended theory for HiKE-IMS resolving power and a novel tristate ion shutter principle able to achieve initial ion packet widths of 1 μs without significant mobility discrimination. Such an ultrashort injection time allows for improving the resolving power of the HiKE-IMS to 140 for a wide range of reduced electric field strengths. With this resolving power, separating all ion species generated from a mixture of benzene, toluene, and xylene is possible. Furthermore, a resolving power of 140 is sufficient to partially separate isotopologues under high electric field strengths.