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Title: Using the Electrochemistry of the Electrospray Ion Source

Abstract

Electrospray mass spectrometry (ES-MS) is one of the more widely used analysis methods in science today, impacting fields as diverse as conventional chemistry to biotechnology and materials science. , Even 20 years after bursting onto the mass spectrometry scene, the underlying processes in ES ionization continue to be better understood exposing new opportunities for the technique. , , , , Such is the case for the improved understanding related to the electrochemical processes inherent to the operation of this ion source, , , which is the topic of this report. Electrospray ionization involves three main steps prior to mass analysis: the generation and charging of the ES droplets; droplet evaporation and the production of gas-phase ions; and secondary processes that modify the gas-phase ions in the atmosphere and the sub-atmospheric pressure sampling regions of the mass spectrometer. Integral to the generation and charging of the ES droplets are electrochemical reactions that occur at the conductive contact/solution interface within or near the ES emitter to maintain the quasi-continuous production of charged droplets and ultimately gas-phase ions. The basic electrochemical phenomena concerning the ES ion source were first brought to wide attention in the mass spectrometry community by Kebarle and co-workers inmore » the early 1990's,8 but the electrochemistry of electrostatic spray devices and possible analytical consequences resulting from this phenomenon were realized and discussed in the literature at least as far back as the mid-1970's. When asked to intercede in a debate on the significance of electrochemistry in the ES ionization (ESI) process, 2002 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry John Fenn noted that to him " the idea that electrochemical reactions might be taking place in an ES ion source was too obvious to mention. That products of such reactions are of vital significance in the overall ESI process was much less obvious. Indeed, it seems fair to say that with few exceptions the products of the electrochemical reactions have been of only minor significance in most applications of ESI-MS. However, those exceptions have turned out to be of great interest and importance."10« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. ORNL
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
930896
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Analytical Chemistry; Journal Volume: 79; Journal Issue: 15
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; ELECTROCHEMISTRY; ION SOURCES; SPRAYS; IONIZATION; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; SAMPLE PREPARATION; EVAPORATION; Electrospray mass spectrometry (ES-MS)

Citation Formats

Van Berkel, Gary J, and Kertesz, Vilmos. Using the Electrochemistry of the Electrospray Ion Source. United States: N. p., 2007. Web.
Van Berkel, Gary J, & Kertesz, Vilmos. Using the Electrochemistry of the Electrospray Ion Source. United States.
Van Berkel, Gary J, and Kertesz, Vilmos. Mon . "Using the Electrochemistry of the Electrospray Ion Source". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_930896,
title = {Using the Electrochemistry of the Electrospray Ion Source},
author = {Van Berkel, Gary J and Kertesz, Vilmos},
abstractNote = {Electrospray mass spectrometry (ES-MS) is one of the more widely used analysis methods in science today, impacting fields as diverse as conventional chemistry to biotechnology and materials science. , Even 20 years after bursting onto the mass spectrometry scene, the underlying processes in ES ionization continue to be better understood exposing new opportunities for the technique. , , , , Such is the case for the improved understanding related to the electrochemical processes inherent to the operation of this ion source, , , which is the topic of this report. Electrospray ionization involves three main steps prior to mass analysis: the generation and charging of the ES droplets; droplet evaporation and the production of gas-phase ions; and secondary processes that modify the gas-phase ions in the atmosphere and the sub-atmospheric pressure sampling regions of the mass spectrometer. Integral to the generation and charging of the ES droplets are electrochemical reactions that occur at the conductive contact/solution interface within or near the ES emitter to maintain the quasi-continuous production of charged droplets and ultimately gas-phase ions. The basic electrochemical phenomena concerning the ES ion source were first brought to wide attention in the mass spectrometry community by Kebarle and co-workers in the early 1990's,8 but the electrochemistry of electrostatic spray devices and possible analytical consequences resulting from this phenomenon were realized and discussed in the literature at least as far back as the mid-1970's. When asked to intercede in a debate on the significance of electrochemistry in the ES ionization (ESI) process, 2002 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry John Fenn noted that to him " the idea that electrochemical reactions might be taking place in an ES ion source was too obvious to mention. That products of such reactions are of vital significance in the overall ESI process was much less obvious. Indeed, it seems fair to say that with few exceptions the products of the electrochemical reactions have been of only minor significance in most applications of ESI-MS. However, those exceptions have turned out to be of great interest and importance."10},
doi = {},
journal = {Analytical Chemistry},
number = 15,
volume = 79,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Mon Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • The ability to control ion temperatures is critical for gas phase spectroscopy and has been a challenge in chemical physics. A low-temperature photoelectron spectroscopy instrument has been developed for the investigation of complex anions in the gas phase, including multiply charged anions, solvated species, and biological molecules. The new apparatus consists of an electrospray ionization source, a 3D Paul trap for ion accumulation and cooling, a time-of-flight mass spectrometer, and a magnetic-bottle photoelectron analyzer. A key feature of the new instrument is the capability to cool and tune ion temperatures from 10 to 350 K in the 3D Paul trap,more » which is attached to the cold head of a closed-cycle helium refrigerator. Ion cooling is accomplished in the Paul trap via collisions with a background gas and has been demonstrated by observation of complete elimination of vibrational hot bands in photoelectron spectra of various anions ranging from small molecules to complex species. Further evidence of ion cooling is shown by the observation of H2 physisorbed anions at low temperatures. Cold anions result in better resolved photoelectron spectra due to the elimination of vibrational hot bands and yield more accurate energetic and spectroscopic information. Temperature-dependent studies are made possible for weakly-bonded molecular and solvated clusters, allowing thermodynamic information to be obtained.« less
  • The ability to control ion temperatures is critical for gas phase spectroscopy and has been a challenge in chemical physics. A low-temperature photoelectron spectroscopy instrument has been developed for the investigation of complex anions in the gas phase, including multiply charged anions, solvated species, and biological molecules. The new apparatus consists of an electrospray ionization source, a three dimensional (3D) Paul trap for ion accumulation and cooling, a time-of-flight mass spectrometer, and a magnetic-bottle photoelectron analyzer. A key feature of the new instrument is the capability to cool and tune ion temperatures from 10 to 350 K in the 3Dmore » Paul trap, which is attached to the cold head of a closed cycle helium refrigerator. Ion cooling is accomplished in the Paul trap via collisions with a background gas and has been demonstrated by observation of complete elimination of vibrational hot bands in photoelectron spectra of various anions ranging from small molecules to complex species. Further evidence of ion cooling is shown by the observation of H{sub 2}-physisorbed anions at low temperatures. Cold anions result in better resolved photoelectron spectra due to the elimination of vibrational hot bands and yield more accurate energetic and spectroscopic information. Temperature-dependent studies are made possible for weakly bonded molecular and solvated clusters, allowing thermodynamic information to be obtained.« less
  • Use of a porous flow-through electrode at the upstream ground contact or at both the upstream ground contact and the high-voltage emitter contact in an electrospray ion source was shown to provide for new types of electrochemical experiments utilizing only the electrochemistry inherent to electrospray. The normal stainless steel bore-through union serving as the upstream grounding point in a floated electrospray emitter system was replaced with a high surface area porous flow-through electrode assembly to achieve effective electrochemical reduction of analytes at this point in positive ion mode, and effective electrochemical oxidation of analytes in negative ion mode. This wasmore » demonstrated by the oxidation of 3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid and reserpine in negative ion mode and by the reduction of thionine in positive ion mode. In the case of reversible oxidation (3,4-dihydroxybenzoic acid) and reduction (thionine) processes, partial rereduction and reoxidation of the products due to reaction with products generated by cathodic and anodic processes at the emitter were observed, respectively. By implementing two high surface area porous flow-through electrodes in the system, one as the upstream grounding point and the other as the emitter electrode, a multiple-step reaction scheme was achieved that included consecutive electrochemical reduction and oxidation reactions and a following chemical reaction as demonstrated by the hydroquinone tagging of an initially disulfide-linked peptide.« less
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