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Design, simulation, and fabrication of a MEMS-based air amplifier for electrospray ionization

[+] Author Affiliations
Petr Jurčíček

Dalian University of Technology, Key Laboratory for Micro/Nano Systems and Technology of Liaoning Province, Dalian 116023, China

Helin Zou

Dalian University of Technology, Key Laboratory for Micro/Nano Systems and Technology of Liaoning Province, Dalian 116023, China

Shuai Gao

Dalian University of Technology, Key Laboratory for Micro/Nano Systems and Technology of Liaoning Province, Dalian 116023, China

J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 12(2), 023006 (May 10, 2013). doi:10.1117/1.JMM.12.2.023006
History: Received December 12, 2012; Revised April 8, 2013; Accepted April 24, 2013
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Abstract.  Recent developments in electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) show that air amplifiers can be utilized to significantly enhance droplet desolvation and to focus gas-phase ions when provided between an electrospray (ES) source and the mass spectrometer (MS). However, these devices are bulky and expensive, which may be a factor prohibiting their broader utilization. We have developed a simple but effective method based on Bernoulli’s principle, the Coanda effect and MEMS processing to focus electrosprayed droplets and liberated gas-phase ions. We demonstrate a computer simulation and fabrication process for a micromachined air amplifier. The simulation results are used to optimize the geometry and to meet performance requirements. The optimized results then provide a design guideline for the device’s fabrication. The air amplifier is formed from two bonded polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) casts. Each PDMS cast is fabricated through a molding process using a micromachined two-layer SU-8 mold. Experimental results show a 30-fold improvement in the ES current for certain operation conditions while the air amplifier is incorporated in the nano-electrospray ionization (nano-ESI) process. Compared with traditional air amplifiers, the micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) based air amplifier provides good performance while keeping the fabrication process simple and cost effective.

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© 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Petr Jurčíček ; Helin Zou and Shuai Gao
"Design, simulation, and fabrication of a MEMS-based air amplifier for electrospray ionization", J. Micro/Nanolith. MEMS MOEMS. 12(2), 023006 (May 10, 2013). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JMM.12.2.023006


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