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Anal Chem. 2007 Apr 15;79(8):3105-16. Epub 2007 Mar 23.

Spraying mode effect on droplet formation and ion chemistry in electrosprays.

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Department of Chemistry and W.W. Keck Institute for Proteomics Technology and Applications, George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 20052, USA.


Depending on the spraying conditions and fluid properties, a variety of electrospray regimes exists. Here we explore the changes in ion production that accompany the transitions among the three axial spraying modes, the burst mode, the pulsating Taylor cone mode, and the cone-jet mode. Spray current oscillation and phase Doppler anemometry measurements, fast imaging of the electrified meniscus, and mass spectrometry are utilized to study the formation, size, velocity, and chemical composition of droplets produced in the three modes. High-speed images indicate that the primary droplets are produced by varicose waves and lateral kink instabilities on the liquid jet emerging from the Taylor cone, whereas secondary droplets are formed by fission. Dramatic changes in the droplet size distributions result from the various production and breakup mechanisms observed at different emitter voltages and liquid flow rates. We demonstrate that droplet fission can be facilitated by space charge effects along the liquid jet and in the plume. Compared to the other two regimes, a significantly enhanced signal-to-noise ratio, a lower degree of analyte oxidation, and milder fragmentation are observed for the cone-jet mode.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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