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Issue 7, 2018
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Automated flow injection method for the high precision determination of drift tube ion mobility collision cross sections

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Abstract

The field of ion mobility-based omics studies requires high-quality collision cross section (CCS) libraries to effectively utilize CCS as a molecular descriptor. Absolute CCS values with the highest precision are obtained on drift tube instruments by measuring the drift time of ions at multiple drift voltages, commonly referred to as a ‘stepped field’ experiment. However, generating large scale absolute CCS libraries from drift tube instruments is time consuming due to the current lack of high-throughput methods. This communication reports a fully automated stepped-field method to acquire absolute CCS on commercially available equipment. Using a drift tube ion mobility-mass spectrometer (DTIM-MS) coupled to a minimally modified liquid chromatography (LC) system, CCS values can be measured online with a carefully timed flow injection analysis (FIA) experiment. Results demonstrate that the FIA stepped-field method yields CCS values which are of high analytical precision (<0.4% relative standard deviation, RSD) and accuracy (≤0.4% difference) comparable to CCS values obtained using traditional direct-infusion stepped-field experiments. This high-throughput CCS method consumes very little sample volume (20 μL) and will expedite the generation of large-scale CCS libraries to support molecular identification within global untargeted studies.

Graphical abstract: Automated flow injection method for the high precision determination of drift tube ion mobility collision cross sections

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
10 Jan 2018
Accepted
06 Mar 2018
First published
15 Mar 2018

Analyst, 2018,143, 1556-1559
Article type
Communication

Automated flow injection method for the high precision determination of drift tube ion mobility collision cross sections

C. M. Nichols, J. C. May, S. D. Sherrod and J. A. McLean, Analyst, 2018, 143, 1556
DOI: 10.1039/C8AN00056E

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