For research use only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.
C - Prototype ion source for gas dynamic study
Key to the development of LC-MS/MS system is the development of ion sources that meet stringent requirement in terms of reproducibility, robustness and ease-of-use. These 3 basic analytical needs are expectated from any LC users to ensure that high quality results are be obtained under a broad range of LC flow rate and solvent conditions, as well as over a diverse range of matrices (e.g. water analysis to food extract).
The most widely used type of ionization for LC-MS/MS is ionspray, which produces intact species from small molecule such as amino acids all the way to antibody. One of the key factors during ion formation using this technique is the rapid evaporation of solvent. To achieve that high temperature, gases are used in the spray region. The glass-chamber shown in the picture was used to study the effect of temperature as well as gas dynamic and mixing to optimize ion formation. The result of this study along with modeling lead the design of the TurboV™ Ion Source, a source that is designed to give optimum heat transfer to the solvent plume and minimize recirculation of ionized species to ensure no carry-over. Upon its introduction (1999), the TurboV source offered the user, the ability to work over wide range of flow rates (10uL/min up to 3mL/min) even when the LC was performed under 100% water condition. In addition, the TurboV increased the sensitivity by orders of magnitude over conventional sources with little to no-tuning on the part of the operator.
As for the blue ‘stirring bar’, it is effectively an original prototype gas heater where the heating element (blue stripes) was wrapped around a ceramic tube. Ceramic was selected for its excellent thermal conductivity properties. The designed finally moved towards ceramic embedded heating circuitry, similar to technology used in glow-plugs of diesel engines.