How Hot Are Your Ions in Differential Mobility Spectrometry?
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Ions can experience significant field-induced heating in a differential mobility cell. To investigate this phenomenon, the fragmentation of several para-substituted benzylpyridinium “thermometer” ions (R = OMe, Me, F, Cl, H, CN) was monitored in a commercial differential mobility spectrometer (DMS). The internal energy of each benzylpyridinium derivative was characterized by monitoring the degree of fragmentation to obtain an effective temperature, Teff, which corresponds to a temperature consistent with treating the observed fragmentation ratio using a unimolecular dissociation rate weighted by a Boltzmann distribution at a temperature T. It was found that ions are sufficiently thermalized after initial activation from the ESI process to the temperature of the bath gas, Tbath. Once a critical field strength was surpassed, significant fragmentation of the benzylpyridinium ions was detected. At the maximum bath gas temperature (450 K) and separation voltage (SV; 4400 V) for our instrument, Teff for the benzylpyridinium derivatives ranged from 664 ± 9 K (p-OMe) to 759 ± 17 K (p-H). The extent of activation at a given SV depends on the ion’s mass, degrees of freedom, (NDoF), and collision frequency as represented by the ion’s collision cross section. Plots of Teff vs the product of ion mass and NDoF and the inverse of collision cross section produce strong linear relationships. This provides an attractive avenue to estimate ion temperatures at a given SV using only intrinsic properties. Moreover, experimentally determined Teff correlate with theoretically predicted Teff using with a self-consistent method based on two-temperature theory. The various instrumental and external parameters that influence Teff are additionally discussed.
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Christian Ieritano, Joshua Featherstone, Alexander Haack, Mircea Guna, J. Larry Campbell, W. Scott Hopkins (2020). How Hot Are Your Ions in Differential Mobility Spectrometry?. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/16475