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Radiative ion-ion neutralization: a new gas-phase atmospheric pressure ion transduction mechanism



Radiative ion-ion neutralization: a new gas-phase atmospheric pressure ion transduction mechanism



Analytical Chemistry 84(11): 4760-4767



All atmospheric pressure ion detectors, including photo ionization detectors, flame ionization detectors, electron capture detectors, and ion mobility spectrometers, utilize Faraday plate designs in which ionic charge is collected and amplified. The sensitivity of these Faraday plate ion detectors are limited by thermal (Johnson) noise in the associated electronics. Thus approximately 10(6) ions per second are required for a minimal detection. This is not the case for ion detection under vacuum conditions where secondary electron multipliers (SEMs) can be used. SEMs produce a cascade of approximately 10(6) electrons per ion impinging on the conversion dynode. Similarly, photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) can generate approximately 10(6) electrons per photon. Unlike SEMs, however, PMTs are evacuated and sealed so that they are commonly used under atmospheric pressure conditions. This paper describes an atmospheric pressure ion detector based on coupling a PMT with light emitted from ion-ion neutralization reactions. The normal Faraday plate collector electrode was replaced with an electrode "needle" used to concentrate the anions as they were drawn to the tip of the needle by a strong focusing electric field. Light was emitted near the surface of the electrode when analyte ions were neutralized with cations produced from the anode. Although radiative-ion-ion recombination has been previously reported, this is the first time ions from separate ionization sources have been combined to produce light. The light from this radiative-ion-ion-neutralization (RIIN) was detected using a photon multiplier such that an ion mobility spectrum was obtained by monitoring the light emitted from mobility separated ions. An IMS spectrum of nitroglycerin (NG) was obtained utilizing RIIN for tranducing the mobility separated ions into an analytical signal. The implications of this novel ion transduction method are the potential for counting ions at atmospheric pressure and for obtaining ion specific emission spectra for mobility separated ions.

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Accession: 055345530

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22548633

DOI: 10.1021/ac3002534


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