Analytical Chemistry Instrumentation Development (ACID):
The main objective of this project is to develop novel instrumentation for the characterization of gas-phase analytes with high sensitivity and in real time.
These prototypes will be benchmarked by:
- pursuing fundamental studies to address open issues around secondary electrospray ionization (SESI)
- by screening volatile metabolites from biofluids, explosives and even single cells
This will provide further pre-commercial analytical alternatives to current technologies for the detection of volatile species. In particular, the four main S&T tasks of this project are:
- Development of three SESI sources for gaseous samples suitable to be interfaced with several atmospheric pressure ionization-mass spectrometers (API-MS) from three of the major mass spectrometry companies (Thermo, AB-Sciex and Waters). During this process we will investigate the ionization mechanism of SESI, which is still poorly understood.
- Development of a SESI source of low sampling flow rate (LFSESI) interfaced with an atmospheric pressure ionization-mass spectrometer (LFSESI-MS). This prototype will be tested in the characterization of volatile metabolites released from single cells.
- Development of a LFSESI source to be interfaced with an improved differential mobility analyzer (DMA) and integrated with a mass spectrometer (LFSESI-DMA-MS).
- Exploration of a LFSESI-DMA-MS system for the analysis of ambient gases in different analytical applications (e.g. metabolomics and explosives detection).