A polymeric microchip with integrated tips and in situ polymerized monolith for electrospray mass spectrometry
We describe the integration of a cyclo-olefin polymer based microchip with a sheathless capillary tip for electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). The microchip was fabricated by hot embossing and thermal bonding. Its design includes a side channel for adjusting the composition of the electrospray solution so that analytes in 100% water can be analyzed. The fused silica capillaries, used for sample introduction, and the electrospray tips for MS coupling were directly inserted into the microchannel before thermal bonding of the device. A microfabricated on-chip gold microelectrode was used to apply the electrospray voltage. Annealing the device after thermal bonding increased the pressure resistance of the microchip. The cross section of the microchannel was imaged by scanning electron microscopy to estimate the effects of the annealing step. The relationship between the applied electrospray voltages and MS signal was measured at different flow rates by coupling the device to an ion trap mass spectrometer. The performance of the microchip was evaluated by MS analysis of imipramine in ammonium acetate buffer solution by direct infusion. An alkylacrylate based monolith polymer bed for on-chip sample pretreatment and separation was polymerized in the microchannel and tested for ESI-MS applications.