Evaluation of drift gas selection in complex sample analyses using a high performance drift tube ion mobility-QTOF mass spectrometer
A recently developed uniform-field high resolution ion mobility (IM) quadrupole time of flight (Q-TOF) mass spectrometer is used for evaluating the utility of alternate drift gases for complex sample analyses. This study provides collision cross section comparison for 275 total pesticides including structural isomers in nitrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and sulfur hexafluoride drift gases. Furthermore, a set of small molecules and Agilent tune mix compounds were used to study the trends in experimentally derived collision cross section values in argon and the alternate drift gases. Two isomeric trisaccharides, melezitose and raffinose, were used to evaluate the effect of the drift gasses for mobility separation. The hybrid ion mobility Q-TOF mass analyzer used in this study consists of a low pressure uniform field drift tube apparatus coupled to a high resolution Q-TOF mass spectrometer. Conventionally, low pressure ion mobility instruments are operated using helium drift gas to obtain optimal structural information and collision cross-section (CCS) values that compare to theoretical CCS values. The instrument employed in this study uses nitrogen as the standard drift gas but also allows the utility of alternate drift gases for improved structural analysis and selectivity under certain conditions. The use of alternate drift gases with a wide range of polarizabilities allows the evaluation of mobility separation power in terms of induced dipole interactions between the drift gas and the analyte ions.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry