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Abstract

Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometers function such that the ion accumulation event takes place in a region of higher pressure outside the magnetic field which allows ions to be thermally cooled before being accelerated toward the ICR cell where they are decelerated and re-trapped. This transfer process suffers from mass discrimination due to time-of-flight effects. Also, trapping ions with substantial axial kinetic energy can decrease the performance of the FTICR instrument compared with the analysis of thermally cooled ions located at the trap center. Therefore, it is desirable to limit the energy imparted to the ions which results in lower applied trap plate potentials and reduces the spread in axial kinetic energy. The approach presented here for ion transfer, called restrained ion population transfer or RIPT, is designed to provide complete axial and radial containment of an ion population throughout the entire transfer process from the accumulation region to the ICR cell, eliminating mass discrimination associated with time-of-flight separation. This was accomplished by use of a number of quadrupole segments arranged in series with independent control of the direct current (DC) bias voltage applied to each segment of the quadrupole ion guide. The DC bias voltage is applied in such a way as to minimize the energy imparted to the ions allowing transfer of ions with low kinetic energy from the ion accumulation region to the ICR cell. Initial FTICR mass spectral data are presented that illustrate the feasibility of RIPT. A larger m/z range for a mixture of peptides is demonstrated compared with gated trapping. The increase in ion transfer time (3 ms to 130 ms) resulted in an ∼11% decrease in the duty cycle; however this can be improved by simultaneously transferring multiple ion populations with RIPT. The technique was also modeled with SIMION 7.0 and simulation results that support our feasibility studies of the ion transfer process are presented. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.