Selection and generation of waveforms for differential mobility spectrometry

Krylov, Evgeny V.; Coy, Stephen L.; Vandermey, John; Schneider, Bradley B.; Covey, Thomas R.; Nazarov, Erkinjon G.
February 2010
Review of Scientific Instruments;Feb2010, Vol. 81 Issue 2, p024101
Academic Journal
Devices based on differential mobility spectrometry (DMS) are used in a number of ways, including applications as ion prefilters for API-MS systems, as detectors or selectors in hybrid instruments (GC-DMS, DMS-IMS), and in standalone systems for chemical detection and identification. DMS ion separation is based on the relative difference between high field and low field ion mobility known as the alpha dependence, and requires the application of an intense asymmetric electric field known as the DMS separation field, typically in the megahertz frequency range. DMS performance depends on the waveform and on the magnitude of this separation field. In this paper, we analyze the relationship between separation waveform and DMS resolution and consider feasible separation field generators. We examine ideal and practical DMS separation field waveforms and discuss separation field generator circuit types and their implementations. To facilitate optimization of the generator designs, we present a set of relations that connect ion alpha dependence to DMS separation fields. Using these relationships we evaluate the DMS separation power of common generator types as a function of their waveform parameters. Optimal waveforms for the major types of DMS separation generators are determined for ions with various alpha dependences. These calculations are validated by comparison with experimental data.


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