Design and implementation of a new electrodynamic ion funnel

Anal Chem. 2000 May 15;72(10):2247-55. doi: 10.1021/ac991412x.


A new electrodynamic (rf) ion funnel has been developed and evaluated for use in the interface regions (at approximately 1-10 Torr) of atmospheric pressure ion sources (e.g., electrospray ionization (ESI) for mass spectrometry). The ion funnel consists of a ring electrode ion guide with decreasing i.d. and with a superimposed dc potential gradient along the ring stack. The thicknesses of the ring electrodes and the spacings between them were reduced to 0.5 mm from 1.59 mm compared to those used for previous designs. The new ion funnel displays a significant improvement in low-mass transmission (m/z >200) and sensitivity compared to previous designs. The transmission efficiencies for electrosprayed peptides and proteins (ranging in mass from 200 to 17,000 Da) were typically 50-60% of total incoming currents from a heated capillary inlet. The transmitted ion currents were a factor of 30-56 greater than those of the standard interface for peptide samples and a factor of 18-22 greater than those for protein samples. The sensitivity gains realized at the MS detector were somewhat lower, possibly due to space charge effects in the octapole ion beam guide following the ion funnel. The improved ion transmission properties result primarily from the use of reduced spacings between ring electrodes. We also show that the ion funnel can be operated in two different modes, one using low-rf-amplitude scans, allowing fragile noncovalent complexes (as well as generally undesired adducts) to be transmitted, and the other using high-rf-amplitude scans, providing greater collisional activation and more effective adduct removal (or the dissociation of lower m/z species).

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Electrons
  • Ion Transport*
  • Mass Spectrometry / methods
  • Numerical Analysis, Computer-Assisted