Empirical prediction of reduced ion mobilities of secondary alcohols
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Ion Mobility Spectrometry is a powerful method for the rapid identification of gas-phase analytes and finds its usage in various fields including the sensitive analysis of extremely complex and humid mixtures such as human breath when additional pre-separation techniques are applied. The output data from an ion mobility spectrometer (IMS), equipped with a Multi-Capillary Column (MCC) for pre-separation, is a chromatogram of the signal intensity versus a particular retention time and a specific reduced ion mobility which are the characteristics of the detected analyte. Hence, it is important to have a database of analytes with both the values for comparison and identification of peaks in any IMS chromatogram. Commonly, such databases are collected by measurements of reference analytes. It is obvious that a prognosis of the values, without the time consuming and costly reference measurements, would be a considerable facilitation for a preliminary identification of unknowns and development of databases. In this study, a correlation between the reduced ion mobilities and the number of carbon atoms was found for secondary alcohols. The correlation was then used to predict the reduced ion mobilities of other analytes in the same homologous series. To verify the accuracy of the prognosis, the analytes were measured individually using a 63Ni-MCC-IMS and compared to the predicted values. The results of the prognosis show an accuracy higher than 99.5%.