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Evaluations of the stability of sheathless electrospray ionization mass spectrometry emitters using electrochemical techniques
Linköping University, The Institute of Technology. Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Sensor Science and Molecular Physics .
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2001 (English)In: Analytical Chemistry, ISSN 0003-2700, Vol. 73, no 19, 4607-4616 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The processes that cause the failure of sheathless electrospray ionization (ESI) emitters, based on different kinds of gold coatings on fused-silica capillaries, are described and explained. The methods chosen for this study include electrochemical methods, ICPMS analysis of the electrolytes used, SEM studies, and electrospray experiments. Generally, the failure occurs by loss of the conductive coating. It is shown that emitters with sputter-coated gold lose their coatings because of mechanical stress caused by the gas evolution accompanying water oxidation or reduction. Emitters with gold coatings on top of adhesion layers of chromium and nickel alloy withstand this mechanical stress and have excellent durability when operating as cathodes. When operating as anodes, the adhesion layer is electrochemically dissolved through the gold film, and the gold film then flakes off. It is shown that the conductive coating behaves as a cathode even in the positive electrospray mode when the magnitude of a superimposed reductive electrophoretic current exceeds that of the oxidative electrospray current. Fairy-dust coatings developed in our laboratory (see Barnidge, D. R., et al. Anal. Chem. 1999, 71, 4115-4118) by gluing gold dust onto the emitter, are unaffected by the mechanical stress due to gas evolution. When oxidized, the fairy-dust coatings show an increased surface roughness and decreased conductivities due to the formation of gold oxide. The resistance of this oxide layer is however negligible in comparison with that of the gas phase in ESI. Furthermore, since no flaking and only negligible electrochemical etching of gold was found, practically unlimited emitter lifetimes may be achieved with fairy-dust coatings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001. Vol. 73, no 19, 4607-4616 p.
National Category
Engineering and Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-47921DOI: 10.1021/ac010300eOAI: diva2:268817
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2011-01-13

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Björefors, Fredrik
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The Institute of TechnologySensor Science and Molecular Physics
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