Research & Teaching Faculty

Decoupling CE and ESI for a more robust interface with MS

TitleDecoupling CE and ESI for a more robust interface with MS
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsE. Maxwell, J, Zhong, X, Zhang, H, van Zeijl, N, Chen, DDY
Date PublishedAPR

An interface for CE-ESI-MS that decouples both the electrical and the solution flow rate requirements of the separation and ionization processes is presented. The interface uses a tapered and beveled stainless steel hollow needle surrounding the separation capillary terminus so that the inside of the electrode acts as the CE outlet vial and the outside up acts as the electrospray emitter. No capillary pre-treatment is required, enabling the use of capillaries with any type of surface modification. A chemical modifier solution is Introduced through a second capillary connected to the needle via a tee)unction and can be used to improve the compatibility of the CE BGE with electrospray. The flow rate of modifier solution can be as low as 0 1 mu L/min, much less than that in a typical sheath-flow interface, thus minimizing dilution of the CE effluent in order to maximize sensitivity. The presence of the modifier solution also allows the use of neutral-coated capillaries for protein analysis by CE-MS without using an assisting pressure, despite the absence of EOF under these conditions The interface is easily integrated into a commercial CE instrument, such that all operations can be carried out by the automated controls. Compared with a commercial sheath-flow CE-MS interface operating under optimized conditions, LODs for amino acids were, on average, improved fivefold