In this work, the flowing atmospheric-pressure afterglow (FAPA) ambient desorption/ionization source has been coupled with stand-alone Drift Tube Ion Mobility Spectrometry (DTIMS) for the first time. A tip repeller electrode, modified to allow higher bias potential still below the Townsend's breakdown, was implemented at the FAPA/DTIMS interface to overcome the opposing potentials and facilitate ion transmission. The effect of the lab-built DTIMS and FAPA's operating conditions (such as plasma voltage, current, gas flow rate, repeller's potential and positioning, FAPA orientation, etc.) on the signal of selected analytes was studied, for both gas-phase injection and desorption. The FAPA reactant ion peak (RIP) reduced mobility coefficient (K0) corresponds to protonated water clusters (H2O)nH+. The FAPA-DTIMS spectra of several selected compounds showed that their K0 agrees with literature values. Moreover, quantitative characterization of acetaminophen and 2,6-di-tert-butylpyridine (2,6-DTBP) based on desorption or gas-phase injection yield limits of detection (LODs) of 0.03 μg and 18 ppb, respectively.
- Ambient desorption/ionization
- Direct solid analysis
- Drift tube ion mobility spectrometry
- Flowing atmospheric-pressure afterglow
- Nitrogen plasma gas
- Tip repeller electrode coupling