Contribution of liquid-phase and gas-phase ionization in extractive electrospray ionization mass spectrometry of primary amines
L. Meier, S. Schmid, C. Berchtold and R. Zenobi
In this study, we investigated how binary mixtures of compounds influence each other's signal intensity in electrospray ionization (ESI), extractive electrospray ionization (EESI) and secondary electrospray ionization (SESI) experiments. The experiments were conducted using a series of homologous primary amines (from 1-butyl to 1- decylamine). In every experiment, two of the amines were present, and all 21 possible combinations were measured with EESI, ESI and SESI as ionization sources. Except for the volatility, which decreases with increasing molecular weight, the physico-chemical properties of the amines are very similar, so that the intensity ratio obtained in each experiment provides information about discrimination effects occurring during the ionization process.
The results show that for the relatively volatile compounds investigated, the EESI ionization mechanism resembles the SESI-like gas-phase charge transfer more than ESI-like analyte ionization in solution. In addition, almost no discrimination effects were observed in the spectra obtained in EESI experiments. Quantitative EESI experiments with nonylamine as internal standard showed that EESI is capable of providing both more accurate and more precise results than SESI and ESI.