Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 1124-1134

First online:

An electrospray ionization source for thermochemical investigation with the guided ion beam mass spectrometer

  • R. M. MoisionAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Utah
  • , P. B. ArmentroutAffiliated withDepartment of Chemistry, University of Utah Email author 


An electrospray ionization (ESI) source developed for use with the guided ion beam tandem mass spectrometer (GIBMS) is described. For accurate determination of thermochemistry using threshold collision-induced dissociation (TCID), it is essential that any source produces ions with four exacting characteristics: (1) high intensity, (2) stable signal, and well-defined energies both (3) kinetic, and (4) internal. To accomplish these objectives, the ions generated by the electrospray are collected using a radio frequency electrodynamic ion funnel and are then transferred into a hexapole ion guide where they are thermalized and subsequently passed into higher-vacuum regions for analysis. The resulting ion intensities using this source can exceed 106 ions/s. Stable beams (<10% variation in signal) can be generated over multiple hours. The kinetic energy distribution of ions emerging from this source has been shown to be well described by a Gaussian distribution with a full width half maximum (FWHM) of about 0.1–0.2 eV in the laboratory frame of reference. Finally, TCID results for ions generated with this source show excellent agreement with previously reported threshold values for ions generated using a variety of sources and experimental methodologies. This confirms that internal energies of the ions are well described by a Maxwell—Boltzmann distribution at room temperature.