High efficiency tandem mass spectrometry analysis using dual linear ion traps†
Tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) plays an essential role in modern chemical analysis. It is used for differentiating isomers and isobars and suppressing chemical noise, which allows high precision quantitation. The MS/MS analysis has been typically applied by isolating the target precursor ions, while disregarding other ions, followed by a fragmentation process that produces the product ions. In this study, configurations of dual linear ion traps were explored to develop high efficiency MS/MS analysis. The ions trapped in the first linear ion trap were axially, mass-selectively transferred to the second linear ion trap for MS/MS analysis. Ions from multiple compounds simultaneously introduced into the mass spectrometer could be sequentially analyzed. This development enables highly efficient use of the sample. For miniature ion trap mass spectrometers with discontinuous atmospheric pressure interfaces, the analysis speed and the quantitation precision can be significantly improved.