New Ion Sources

A rotating rod of target material is placed just in front of the pulsed nozzle orifice. The target is irradiated with a focused pulsed laser beam, producing an ablation plasma plume. The plasma is mixed with a gas pulse from the nozzle (tpulse=300µs) and in the region of high number of collisions between the gas atoms (X) and the metal ions (M), association reactions produce MpXq clusters.

An electrospray source forms a fine mist of a solution, by spraying it through a small home-made tip, placed in an electric field.

Due to evaporation, the initial droplet size decreases, the ions begin to repel each other until a Coulomb explosion fragments the droplets and produces gas phase ions. The electric field of the source then pulls the ions into a small capillary. The capillary and the two skimmers restrict the flow of air into the high vacuum vacuum region of “Ariadne”. Ion optics carry the ions to the mass analyzer, where the m/z ratio is determined.