Extending the Range of Detectable Trace Species with the Fast Polarity Switching of Chemical Ionization Orbitrap Mass Spectrometry

Runlong Cai, Joona Mikkilä, Anna Bengs, Mrisha Koirala, Jyri Mikkilä, Sebastian Holm, Paxton Juuti, Melissa Meder, Fariba Partovi, Aleksei Shcherbinin, Douglas Worsnop, Mikael Ehn, Juha Kangasluoma

Forskningsoutput: TidskriftsbidragArtikelVetenskapligPeer review


Chemical ionization (CI) atmospheric pressure interface mass spectrometry is a unique analytical technique for its low detection limits, softness to preserve molecular information, and selectivity for particular classes of species. Here, we present a fast polarity switching approach for highly sensitive online analysis of a wide range of trace species in complex samples using selective CI chemistries and high-resolution mass spectrometry. It is achieved by successfully coupling a multischeme chemical ionization inlet (MION) and an Orbitrap Fourier transform mass spectrometer. The capability to flexibly combine ionization chemistries from both polarities effectively extends the detectability compared to using only one ionization chemistry, as commonly used positive and negative reagent ions tend to be sensitive to different classes of species. We tested the performance of the MION-Orbitrap using reactive gaseous organic species generated by α-pinene ozonolysis in an environmental chamber and a standard mixture of 71 pesticides. Diethylammonium and nitrate are used as reagent ions in positive and negative polarities. We show that with a mass resolving power of 280,000, the MION-Orbitrap can switch and measure both polarities within 1 min, which is sufficiently fast and stable to follow the temporal evolution of reactive organic species and the thermal desorption profile of pesticides. We detected 23 of the 71 pesticides in the mixture using only nitrate as the reagent ion. Facilitated by polarity switching, we also detected 47 pesticides using diethylammonium, improving the total number of detected species to 59. For reactive organic species generated by α-pinene ozonolysis, we show that combining diethylammonium and nitrate addresses the need to measure oxygenated molecules in atmospheric environments with a wide range of oxidation states. These results indicate that the polarity switching MION-Orbitrap can promisingly serve as a versatile tool for the nontargeted chemical analysis of trace species in various applications.

TidskriftAnalytical Chemistry
Sidor (från-till)8604-8612
Antal sidor9
StatusPublicerad - 28 maj 2024
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


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