Spray nebulization for sample introduction in ion mobility spectrometry

S. Armenta, A. Gonzálvez, M. Blanco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


A new sample introduction system based on spray nebulization has been successfully developed to perform direct analysis of liquid samples by IMS. The system comprises a concentric nebulizer that generates a spray plume which is introduced in the ionization region of the IMS instrument through a temperature controlled transfer line. This system avoids previous problems of direct injection of liquid samples and maintains the countercurrent flow of inert gas necessary for the operation of the IMS instrument. Evaluation of the qualitative and quantitative capabilities of the methodology has been performed after a carefully study of the main variables affecting the spray nebulization and the transport of the analyte molecules through the transfer line. To demonstrate the usefulness of the new sample introduction system, direct analysis of drugs and drug metabolites in saliva or urine samples have been performed, obtaining accurate, reliable and sensitive results. Moreover, analytes with physico-chemical properties that limited the capability of thermal desorption as sample introduction method such as amino acids can be analyzed by using the spray nebulization methodology. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-99
JournalAnalytica Chimica Acta
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2013


  • Ion mobility spectrometry
  • Sample introduction
  • Spray nebulization


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