IonRocket is an add-on product for the IonSense DART device
The idea is, roughly speaking, that IonRocket heats the sample in a controlled manner, enabling the analysis of relatively non-volatile compounds.
IonRocket covers the temperature range from room temperature and up to conditions that come close to pyrolysis.
In the DART ion source, a stream of helium is ionized in an electrical discharge.
Some of the helium atoms are excited electronically; the ions are sorted off and there is then a “beam” of excited helium atoms with a controllable temperature.
The sample is located immediately outside the entrance of the mass spectrometer’s spray chamber. When the excited helium atoms hit the sample, a cascade of reactions occurs, involving, inter alia, the water vapor naturally found in the air.
Hereby protonized water molecules (H3O + and clusters thereof) are formed which react with the sample by chemical ionization, i.e. typically by transfer of a proton to form M + 1 ions.
The IonRocket is a unit that can heat the sample before being exposed to the excitation with the excited helium atoms.
This makes it possible to analyze compounds that normally do not have sufficient volatility to be analyzed with DART.
This could be, for example, PET polymer or fatty acids from plant oils.
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