Coupling Microchip Electrospray Ionization Devices with High Pressure Mass Spectrometry

William M. Gilliland, Jr.
J. Scott Mellors
J. Michael Ramsey


A microchip electrospray ionization source was coupled with high pressure mass spectrometry (HPMS). A continuous atmospheric inlet consisting of a stainless steel capillary and DC ion optics was designed to conduct ions into the mass spectrometer. Infusions of amino acids and peptides were performed and detected with a miniature cylindrical ion trap (mini-CIT)-based mass spectrometer operated at ≥1 Torr with air as the buffer gas. Detection of glycine and thymopentin (separately) demonstrated the mass range of the mini-CIT detector could span from m/z 75 to 681. A microchip capillary electrophoresis (CE) separation with mini-CIT detection was performed, and the results were compared with detection using a commercial instrument (Waters Synapt G2). Comparable separation efficiencies were observed with both mass spectrometers as detectors, with about 6 times better signal-to-noise observed on the Synapt G2. Comparison of mass spectra in the two systems reveals similar features observed, but with wider peak widths in the mini-CIT than on the Synapt G2 as expected due to high-pressure operation.