In this study, we explored a new approach for generating ions of organics and biomolecules using contactless atmospheric pressure ionization (C-API). That is, a tapered capillary (~20 cm) was connected to a syringe, which was coupled to a syringe pump for providing a given flow rate to introduce sample solution to the proximity of a mass spectrometer. The gas phase ions derived from analytes were readily formed in the capillary outlet, which was very close to the mass spectrometer (~1 mm). No external electric connection was applied on the capillary emitter. This setup is very simple, but it can function as an ion source. This approach can be readily used for the analysis of small molecules such as amino acids and large molecules such as peptides and proteins. The limit of the detection of this approach was estimated to be ~10 pM when using bradykinin as the sample. Thus, we believe that this approach should be very useful for being used as an alternative ion source because of its low cost, high sensitivity, simplicity, and ease of operation.
- Atmospheric pressure ionization
- Electrospray ionization
- Ion source
- Mass spectrometry