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Electrospray ionizer for mass spectrometry of aerosol particles

United States Patent

September 19, 2017
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
A device and method are disclosed to apply ESI-based mass spectroscopy to submicrometer and nanometer scale aerosol particles. Unipolar ionization is utilized to charge the particles in order to collect them electrostatically on the tip of a tungsten rod. Subsequently, the species composing the collected particles are dissolved by making a liquid flow over the tungsten rod. This liquid with dissolved aerosol contents is formed into highly charged droplets, which release unfragmented ions for mass spectroscopy, such as time-of-flight mass spectroscopy. The device is configured to operate in a switching mode, wherein aerosol deposition occurs while solvent delivery is turned off and vice versa.
He; Siqin (Qianjiang, CN), Hogan; Chris (Minneapolis, MN), Li; Lin (Arden Hills, MN), Liu; Benjamin Y. H. (North Oaks, MN), Naqwi; Amir (Eden Prairie, MN), Romay; Francisco (Vadnais Heights, MN)
MSP Corporation (Shoreview, MN), Regents of the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN)
15/ 135,132
April 21, 2016
GOVERNMENT RIGHTS This invention was made with government support under DE-SC0013302 awarded by the US Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.