Determination of Ion Frequencies in a Quadrupole Ion Trap By Using a Fast Direct Current Pulse as Pump and a Laser Probe
A new technique has been developed which allows the direct measurement of frequencies of ions trapped in a quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer. This pump/probe method employs a fast direct current (DC) pulse (pump) to displace a kinetically cooled ion population from the center of the trap, and a laser (probe) which recognizes when ions reappear at the center of the trap by the formation of photodissociation fragments. The translationally excited ions undergo periodic motion within the confines of the ion trap, and this periodic motion can be followed by recording the intensity of the photodissociation fragment as a function of the delay time between the DC pump and the laser probe. The DC pulse has a rise time of 15 ns; data are taken 1 ms after its application to allow stable ion motion to be sampled. Sampling of the ion cloud is done at 50 ns intervals, and fast Fourier transformation of the time-based data yields the ion frequencies and their relative magnitudes. Data are reported for ions derived from acetophenone (m/z 105) and 1,4-cyclohexadiene (m/z 80) under various trapping conditions corresponding to different Mathieu qz values. The measured fundamental secular frequencies, fz and fr, are found to agree well with those predicted. The presence of higher order multipole contributions to the trapping field is evident from such ion frequencies as the drive frequency, fRF,. The ability to measure ion frequencies under operating conditions provides a new tool for comparing simulated and experimental data. Simulation data from the program ITSIM, modified to account for the effects of collisions, are shown to predict the major frequency components observed in the experimental data.
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