A simple method to introduce unprocessed samples into a solvent for rapid characterization by liquid introduction atmospheric pressure ionization mass spectrometry has been lacking. The continuous flow, self-cleaning open port sampling interface introduced here fills this void.
The open port sampling interface used a vertically aligned, co-axial tube arrangement enabling solvent delivery to the sampling end of the device through the tubing annulus and solvent aspiration down the center tube and into the ionization source of the mass spectrometer via the commercial APCI emitter probe. The solvent delivery rate to the interface was set to exceed the aspiration rate, creating a continuous sampling interface along with a constant, self-cleaning spillover of solvent from the top of the probe.
Using the open port sampling interface with positive ion mode APCI and a hybrid quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer, rapid, direct sampling and analysis possibilities are exemplified with plastics, ballpoint and felt tip ink pens, skin, and vegetable oils. These results demonstrated that the open port sampling interface could be used as a simple, versatile and self-cleaning system to rapidly introduce multiple types of unprocessed, sometimes highly concentrated and complex, samples into a solvent flow stream for subsequent ionization and analysis by mass spectrometry. The basic setup presented here could be incorporated with any self-aspirating liquid introduction ionization source (e.g., ESI, APCI, APPI, ICP, etc.) or any type of atmospheric pressure sampling-ready mass spectrometer system.
The open port sampling interface provides a means to introduce and quickly analyze unprocessed solid or liquid samples with the liquid introduction atmospheric pressure ionization source without fear of sampling interface or ionization source contamination. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.