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Providing ultra-sensitive solutions for real-time trace gas analysis since 1998


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ASMS Conference on Mass Spectrometry and Allied Topics

4. - 8. June 2017

Visit our poster presentations at the 65th ASMS annual meeting, 5. - 9. June 2016, San Antonio, Texas

Visit us at the 65th ASMS Annual Meeting

The 65th ASMS Conference will be at the Indiana Convention Center,100 S. Capitol Ave, Indianapolis, IN 46225. Sunday through Thursday are full program days of concurrent oral sessions, poster sessions, and workshops. We expect an attendance of 6,500 scientists and 3,000 presentations as talks and posters.

Who we are and what we do

We develop and manufacture ultra-sensitive real-time trace gas analyzers using the unique Proton Transfer Reaction – Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) and related technologies. 
We also produce trace calibration devices for analytical instruments, construct industrial process monitoring solutions, conceive and build time-of-flight mass spectrometers and offer analytical services to our customers.
Over 300 leading scientists, institutions and multinational corporations are among IONICON’s customers.

Discover PTR-MS and its advantages

PTR-MS is a solution for real-time quantitative trace gas analysis delivering market-leading pptv-level detection limits in real-time without sample preparation.
Click here to learn more about PTR-MS!

Visit our scientific presentations:

You're welcome to join us a for our two poster presentations on Tuesday June 6th and Thursday June 8th:

  • TP 403: CHARON PTR-ToF-MS: a new method for real-time measurement and molecular-level characterization of submicron particulate organic matter
  • ThP 366: A Modular Ion Funnel for Improved Sensitivity in Proton-Transfer-Reaction – Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (PTR-TOFMS) Instruments

​Click the tab below to learn more and read the abstracts:

Scientific poster presentations


Date: Tuesday, June 6th, 2017; Poster # 403
Session: Instrumentation: New Developments in Ionization and Sampling II
CHARON PTR-ToF-MS: a new method for real-time measurement and molecular-level characterization of submicron particulate organic matter

Philipp Eichler1; Markus Mueller1, 2; Andreas Klinger2; Armin Wisthaler1, 3; Alfons Jordan2
1Institut für Ionenphysik und Angewandte Physik, Universität Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria; 2IONICON Analytik GmbH., Innsbruck, Austria; 3Department of Chemistry, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
A qualitative and quantitative characterization of the organic fraction of atmospheric particulate matter is still challenging. Available off-line techniques are usually slow, labour intensive and often prone to analytical artefacts. Emerging on-line mass spectrometric techniques suffer from low limits of detection, intensive fragmentation of organic analytes or the lack of true real-time capabilities. Herein, we present the novel modular ' chemical analysis of aerosol online' (CHARON) particle inlet system designed to be coupled to a proton-transfer-reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-ToF-MS). The latter quantitatively detects most organic analytes and ammonia in real-time by chemical ionization with hydronium reagent ions.
The CHARON inlet (Eichler et al., 2015) consists of a gas-phase denuder for stripping off gas-phase analytes, an aerodynamic lens for particle collimation combined with an inertial sampler for the particle-enriched flow and a thermodesorption unit for particle volatilization prior to chemical analysis. The CHARON inlet was experimentally optimized to completely vaporize ammonium sulphate (AS) particles. As most of the particulate organic matter in the atmosphere has a higher volatility than AS, most organics are detected by the CHARON-PTR-ToF-MS method. The new analytical technique is thus capable of measuring both the organic and the ammonium fraction in submicron particles without filter pre-collection (on-line) and in single-minute time-resolution (real-time).
Preliminary Data
The denuder was found to remove gas-phase organics with an efficiency > 99.999% and to transmit particles in the 100–750 nm size range with a ~95% efficiency. The aerodynamic lens system was found to enrich the submicron particle concentration by about a factor 40 in the given size range. In combination with a PTR-ToFMS 8000 instrument (Ionicon Analytik GmbH, Austria), the CHARON inlet was capable of detecting organic particle-phase compounds at single ng m −3 levels. At the same time, the mass resolution was found to be sufficient for assigning elemental compositions to most ions in the particle mass spectra. The response time was observed to be dependent upon the analyte’s volatility ranging from 10 to 90 seconds.We will present first results from on-line measurements of submicron particulate organic matter in the atmosphere in Innsbruck (Austria). Molecular tracers associated with different particle sources including levoglucosan from biomass combustion, PAHs from vehicular traffic, and nicotine from cigarette smoking were observed. The tracer information was used for interpreting positive matrix factorization (PMF) data which allowed us to apportion the sources of submicron particulate organic matter.We will also show results from emission measurements performed on a ship diesel engine. Primary organic aerosol was dominated by polycycloalkanes in the C 20-to-C 39 range, which are typical main constituents of lubricating oils.This work was funded through the PIMMS ITN, which was supported by the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme under grant agreement number 287382.
Novel Aspect
CHARON PTR-ToF-MS allows for a real-time measurement and a molecular-level characterization of atmospheric submicron particulate organic matter.

Date: Thursday, June 8th, 2017; Poster # 366
Session: Instrumentation: New Developments in Mass Analyzers
A Modular Ion Funnel for Improved Sensitivity in Proton-Transfer-Reaction – Time-Of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (PTR-TOFMS) Instruments

Alfons Jordan1; Christian Lindinger1; Stefan Feil1; Paul Mutschlechner1; Gernot Hanel1; Eugen Hartungen1; Jens Herbig1; Lukas Maerk1; Philipp Sulzer1; Simone Juerschik1
1IONICON Analytik GmbH, Innsbruck, Austria
Ion funnels are efficient focusing devices, particularly in setups where ions have to be transferred from high to low pressure regions. Thus, it seems ideal to install an ion funnel in the transfer region between the drift tube and the mass spectrometer of a Proton-Transfer-Reaction – Mass Spectrometry (PTR-MS) instrument. Indeed, Barber et al. (Anal. Chem. 2012) published a drift tube / funnel design where the first half of the drift tube was conventional and the second half consisted of an ion funnel. Here we present a different approach, namely a modular ion funnel adjacent to a conventional drift tube. We show that this does not deteriorate the ion chemistry while considerably boosting the instrument's sensitivity.

An ion funnel consists of a series of ring electrodes with gradually decreasing orifice diameters, where a RF voltage is applied, in order to get the ions focused and to suppress ion losses. The modular version we have constructed has a length of about 3 cm, which is only about 1/3 of the PTR drift tube. Most importantly, the funnel can be installed in every conventional PTR-MS instrument, such as e.g. the compact PTR-TOF 1000, for an immediate sensitivity increase. In order to determine the sensitivity gain we analyzed a certified gas standard. For investigating the effects of the funnel on the ion chemistry, we injected the headspace of chemicals into bags filled with pure N 2.
Preliminary Data
In order to investigate the effects of the modular ion funnel, we operated two PTR-TOF 1000 in parallel, while one of the instruments was equipped with an ion funnel (PTR-TOF 1000 ultra). By injecting a certified gas standard (TO-14A) we found that the conventional instrument yielded between 40 and 100 cps/ppbv for m/z 79 (protonated benzene) and m/z 181 (protonated trichlorobenzene), respectively, with a limit of detection of 10 pptv. The focusing effect of the ion funnel in the PTR-TOF 1000 ultra improved the sensitivity to 300 to 400 cps/ppbv, i.e. by a factor of about 5-10, and the limit of detection to 5 pptv. However, the crucial question is, if the complex RF field inside the ion funnel influences the ion chemistry during the ionization process in a way that it becomes unpredictable, as it has been the case for other known designs. We analyzed the headspace of compounds from which it is known that their product ion branching ratios strongly depend on the reduced electric field within the drift tube (E/N), such as octanal and 4-nitrotoluene, simultaneously with both instruments. By carefully adjusting the RF amplitude and the DC voltages in the PTR-TOF 1000 ultra, we could reproduce the branching ratios obtained with the PTR-TOF 1000 within an error range of below 10%. That is, our novel modular ion funnel clearly improves instrumental sensitivity, while not considerably interfering with the ion chemistry. Thus, branching ratios and calculated concentration values remain accurate. Acknowledgement: This project was supported by the Land Tirol via a FuEuI project and by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) via a Basisprogramm and an ASAP project.
Novel Aspect
A modular ion funnel improves the sensitivity of PTR-TOFMS instruments without interfering with the ion chemistry.

Visit the online conference planner from ASMS to manage your own schedule.