An apparatus and method is provided for separating and analyzing chemical species in an ion mobility spectrometer using a frequency-domain technique wherein the ions generated from the chemical species are selectively transported through an ion flow channel having a moving electrical potential therein. The moving electrical potential allows the ions to be selected according to ion mobility, with certain of the ions being transported to an ion detector and other of the ions being effectively discriminated against. The apparatus and method have applications for sensitive chemical detection and analysis for monitoring of exhaust gases, hazardous waste sites, industrial processes, aerospace systems, non-proliferation, and treaty verification. The apparatus can be formed as a microelectromechanical device (i.e. a micromachine).