Get access

A cylindrical capacitor ionization source: droplet generation and controlled charge reduction for mass spectrometry



A cylindrical capacitor ionization source was used in conjunction with corona discharge charge reduction for generation of singly charged ions for mass spectrometric analysis. The source consists of a fused-silica capillary threaded with a platinum wire and placed inside a stainless steel tube. Application of an electric potential to the wire results in the production of a linear stream of charged droplets when an aqueous solution is pumped through the capillary. Subsequent solvent evaporation yields ions, providing a continuous ion source for mass spectrometry. Passage of the ions through a corona discharge charge reduction chamber permits reduction of the charge state to predominantly singly charged species, facilitating analysis of DNA and protein mixtures. The change from production of multiply charged ions to production of singly charged ions is extremely simple, requiring only modulation of the voltage applied to the corona discharge electrode. A simple technique for construction of the ionization source is reported. Copyright © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.