Neutral particle mass spectrometry with nanomechanical systems
Nature Publishing Group
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Current approaches to mass spectrometry (MS) require ionization of the analytes of interest. For high-mass species, the resulting charge state distribution can be complex and difficult to interpret correctly. Here, using a setup comprising both conventional time-of-flight MS (TOF-MS) and nano-electromechanical systems-based MS (NEMS-MS) in situ, we show directly that NEMS-MS analysis is insensitive to charge state: the spectrum consists of a single peak whatever the speciesa' charge state, making it significantly clearer than existing MS analysis. In subsequent tests, all the charged particles are electrostatically removed from the beam, and unlike TOF-MS, NEMS-MS can still measure masses. This demonstrates the possibility to measure mass spectra for neutral particles. Thus, it is possible to envisage MS-based studies of analytes that are incompatible with current ionization techniques and the way is now open for the development of cutting-edge system architectures with unique analytical capability. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.
in situ test
neutral particle mass spectrometry
time of flight mass spectrometry
Published Version (Please cite this version)http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms7482
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