Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry

, Volume 12, Issue 9, pp 1002-1010

First online:

Factors influencing the determination of analyte ion surface partitioning coefficients in electrosprayed droplets

  • Per J. R. SjöbergAffiliated withDepartment of Analytical Chemistry, Uppsala University Email author 
  • , C. Fredrik BökmanAffiliated withDepartment of Analytical Chemistry, Uppsala University
  • , Dan BylundAffiliated withDepartment of Analytical Chemistry, Uppsala University
  • , Karin E. MarkidesAffiliated withDepartment of Analytical Chemistry, Uppsala University

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The observed response in mass spectrometry utilizing electrospray as a sample introduction technique can be affected by a number of factors. In this study a series of two-electrolyte systems was investigated and the mass spectrometric responses were modeled by the use of droplet surface partitioning coefficients and instrumental response factors according to a recently reported method (Sjöberg et al., Anal. Chem. 2001, 73, 23–28). The partitioning coefficient and the instrumental response factor were found to be affected by the chosen experimental conditions. Experimental parameters that were investigated include spray position relative to the orifice, spray potential, nebulizer and curtain gas flow rates, ionic strength, and organic content of the sprayed solution. The time history of the generated droplets turned out to be of importance to both the partitioning coefficients and the instrumental response factor. For example, a general increase in the surface partitioning coefficients for the tetrapentylammonium ion was initially observed when the spray was aiming closer to the sampling orifice. Furthermore, it was shown with a small amount of deuterium labeled electrolyte that the total ionic strength and not just the electrolyte concentration influence the instrumental response factor.