An electrospray ion (ESI) source and method capable of ionizing an analyte molecule without oxidizing or reducing the analyte of interest. The ESI source can include an emitter having a liquid conduit, a working electrode having a liquid contacting surface, a spray tip, a secondary working electrode, and a charge storage coating covering partially or fully the liquid contacting surface of the working electrode. The liquid conduit, the working electrode and the secondary working electrode can be in liquid communication. The electrospray ion source can also include a counter electrode proximate to, but separated from, said spray tip. The electrospray ion source can also include a power system for applying a voltage difference between the working electrodes and a counter-electrode. The power system can deliver pulsed voltage changes to the working electrodes during operation of said electrospray ion source to minimize the surface potential of the charge storage coating.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. ERK CC-42 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.