Investigation of drift gas selectivity in high resolution ion mobility spectrometry with mass spectrometry detection

Abstract

Recent studies in electrospray ionization (ESI)/ion mobility spectrometry (IMS) have focussed on employing different drift gases to alter separation efficiency for some molecules. This study investigates four structurally similar classes of molecules (cocaine and metabolites, amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and small peptides) to determine the effect of structure on relative mobility changes in four drift gases (helium, nitrogen, argon, carbon dioxide). Collision cross sections were plotted against drift gas polarizability and a linear relationship was found for the nineteen compounds evaluated in the study. Based on the reduced mobility database, all nineteen compounds could be separated in one of the four drift gases, however, the drift gas that provided optimal separation was specific for the two compounds.