(19)
(11)EP 2 619 565 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
21.10.2020 Bulletin 2020/43

(21)Application number: 11760438.9

(22)Date of filing:  08.09.2011
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G01N 27/62  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/EP2011/065585
(87)International publication number:
WO 2012/038268 (29.03.2012 Gazette  2012/13)

(54)

FAIMS APPARATUS AND METHOD COMPRISING AN ION SEPARATION CHANNEL OF HELICAL SHAPE

FAIMS-GERÄT UND VERFAHREN MIT EINEM IONENTRENNUNGSKANAL MIT SPIRALFÖRMIGER FORM

APPAREIL ET PROCÉDÉ À MOBILITÉ D'IONS À FORME D'ONDE À CHAMP ÉLEVÉ COMPRENANT UN CANAL DE SÉPARATION D'IONS DE FORME HÉLICOÏDALE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 20.09.2010 GB 201015787
20.09.2010 GB 201015783
20.09.2010 GB 201015785
20.09.2010 GB 201015786

(43)Date of publication of application:
31.07.2013 Bulletin 2013/31

(73)Proprietor: Thermo Fisher Scientific (Bremen) GmbH
28199 Bremen (DE)

(72)Inventor:
  • GIANNAKOPULOS, Anastassios
    28201 Bremen (DE)

(74)Representative: Boult Wade Tennant LLP 
Salisbury Square House 8 Salisbury Square
London EC4Y 8AP
London EC4Y 8AP (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A2-01/69216
GB-A- 2 457 556
GB-A- 2 327 531
  
  • HISASHI MATSUDA: "Electrostatic Analyzer with Variable Focal Length", REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS, AIP, MELVILLE, NY, US, vol. 32, no. 7, 1 July 1961 (1961-07-01), pages 850-852, XP007909746, ISSN: 0034-6748
  • MATSUDA H., FUJITA Y: "Potential distribution in a cylindrical condenser terminated by Matsuda plates", INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MASS SPECTROMETRY AND ION PHYSICS, vol. 16, 1 January 1975 (1975-01-01), pages 395-404, XP002665551, Elsevier Amsterdam cited in the application
  
Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


Description


[0001] The invention relates generally to High Field Asymmetric Waveform Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS). In particular, the invention relates to methods and apparatus for high-resolution separation of ions based on their high-field and low-field mobility properties.

[0002] It is known to use parallel plate electrodes in a FAIMS device (see Figure 1). It is also known to use concentric curved electrodes such as inner and outer cylindrical electrodes for producing a two-dimensional atmospheric pressure ion focusing effect (see Figure 2A). With the application of an appropriate combination of dispersion voltage (DV) and compensation voltage (CV) an ion of interest is focused into a band-like region in the annular gap between the cylindrical electrodes as a result if the electric fields which change with radial distance. Focusing the ions of interest has the effect of reducing the number of ions of interest that are lost as a result of the ion suffering a collision with one of the inner and outer electrodes.

[0003] Other alternative arrangements include a dome-shaped FAIMS analyser (e.g. as described by Alexandre A. Schwartzburg: Differential Ion Mobility Spectrometry, Boca Raton 2009, ISBN 978-1-4200-5106-3, chapter 4.3.10), as shown in Figure 2B. The domed-FAIMS analyser includes a cylindrical inner electrode having a curved surface terminus proximate an ion outlet orifice of the FAIMS analyser region. The curved surface is substantially continuous with the cylindrical shape of the inner electrode and is aligned co-axially with the ion outlet orifice.

[0004] WO 01/69216 describes a so-called "perpendicular-gasflow-FAIMS", which is identically referred to as a side-to-side FAIMS. The analyzer region of the side-to-side FAIMS is defined by an annular space between inner and outer cylindrical electrodes. In particular, ions that are introduced into the analyzer region of the side-to-side FAIMS are selectively transmitted in a direction that is generally around the circumference of the inner electrode. For instance, the ion inlet and the ion outlet of a side-to-side FAIMS device are disposed, one opposing the other, within a surface of the outer electrode such that ions are selectively transmitted through the curved analyzer region between the ion inlet and the ion outlet along a continuously curving ion flow path absent a portion having a substantially linear component. In particular, the ions travel from the ion inlet to the ion outlet by flowing around the inner electrode in one of a "clock-wise" and a "counter clock-wise" direction. This is in contrast to the above-mentioned FAIMS devices in which the ions are selectively transmitted along the length of the inner electrode.

[0005] Of course, the side-to-side FAIMS device has some limitations. For example, ion separation occurs only within a very small portion of the analyzer region of a side-to-side FAIMS. With only two possible ion flow directions through the analyzer region, the ion concentration at a point along either ion flow direction remains relatively high. As the ions transit the analyzer region, diffusion and ion-ion repulsion forces cause the ions to spread out in a direction along the length of the inner and outer electrodes. Accordingly, the ions are introduced through the ion inlet as an approximately collimated beam of ions, but rapidly spread out to form a sheet of ions that travels around the inner electrode to the ion outlet. Furthermore, ions are focused between the inner and outer electrodes as a result of the application of the applied CV and DV, but this focusing occurs only in a direction that is approximately normal to the electrode surfaces, i.e. in a radial direction. As such, there is no force capable of focusing the ions in a direction that is parallel to the electrode surfaces, i.e. in a longitudinal direction. Since the ions spread out slightly during separation, some of the ions become entrained in portions of the analyzer region where the gas flow rate is low or stagnant. Consequently the ion transmission efficiency from the FAIMS to, for example, an external mass spectrometer is reduced.

[0006] Additionally, the strength of the focusing field between the inner and outer electrodes is related to the radius of the cylindrically shaped inner electrode. In order to produce stronger focusing fields, it is necessary to utilize an inner electrode with a smaller radius. Of course, a FAIMS analyzer having a smaller inner electrode also has a smaller available volume for separating ions. The distance between the ion inlet orifice and the ion outlet orifice is also smaller, and may result in insufficient ion transit times to effect separation of a mixture that contains different ionic species having similar high field ion mobility properties.

[0007] WO 03/067236 discloses a side-to-side FAIMS device with a single inner electrode and a segmented outer electrode in which three electrode segments are electrically isolated from one another (see Figures 3A and 3B). The top segment has a first offset DC voltage applied to it. The middle segment has a second offset DC voltage applied to it and the bottom segment has a third offset DC voltage applied to it. The first and third offset DC voltages may be the same. The ions with the appropriate properties for transmission for a given set of applied experimental conditions are confined in a radial direction between the middle outer electrode segment and the inner electrode.

[0008] The present invention provides for further improvements in the field of FAIMS which enable increased sensitivity and throughput.

Summary of Invention



[0009] Against this background, there is provided an apparatus for separating ions comprising:

an elongate ion separation channel defined by a plurality of channel walls for constraining ions within the said channel, a first channel wall comprising a first ion separation electrode assembly and a second channel wall comprising a second ion separation electrode assembly and being spaced from the said first ion separation electrode assembly in a direction transverse to a direction of elongation of the channel; and

a power supply for applying a periodic asymmetric potential to at least one of the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies in order to generate a periodically asymmetric electric field in the channel such that ions flow along the direction of elongation of the channel and are caused to separate according to differential ion mobility;

wherein the ion separation channel walls define an ion separation channel which is substantially of helical shape; and

wherein the channel walls further comprise an ion focusing electrode assembly (100) of substantially helical shape



[0010] This allows the advantage of curved inner and curved outer electrodes to be combined with an increased ion flow path which results from the helical shaped separation channel. The increased ion flow path increases sensitivity.

[0011] In a further aspect of the disclosure, there is provided a method for separating ions comprising:

directing ions in a gas flow through an ion separation channel of substantially helical shape, the channel being formed between first and second ion separation electrode assemblies spaced apart from each other, the ion separation channel further comprising walls comprising an ion focusing electrode assembly (100) of substantially helical shape; and

applying a periodic asymmetric potential to at least one of the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies such that the ions become separated by differential ion mobility in a periodically asymmetric electric field applied between the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies as a consequence of the asymmetric potential.



[0012] This allows the advantage of increased ion flow path and increased sensitivity.

Specific Description



[0013] Preferred embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

Figure 1A shows a prior art FAIMS device having two flat parallel plate electrodes providing a straight ion path;

Figure 1B shows a typical FAIMS voltage distribution plot showing short periods of high voltage and longer periods of lower voltage of opposite polarity;

Figure 2A shows a prior art cylindrical FAIMS device having a cylindrical capacitor;

Figure 2B shows a prior art dome-shaped FAIMS device;

Figure 3A shows a prior art side-to-side FAIMS device from above;

Figure 3B shows the prior art side-to-side FAIMS device of Figure 3A from the side, and illustrates an embodiment which includes segmentation of the outer electrode;

Figure 4A shows a perspective view of an improved FAIMS device outside the scope of the claims wherein above and below the ion path of a side-to-side FAIMS device are annular electrodes;

Figure 4B shows the improved FAIMS device of Figure 4A when viewed from above;

Figure 4C shows the improved FAIMS device of Figure 4A when viewed from the side;

Figure 4D shows the field formed by the FAIMS device of Figures 4A, 4B and 4C;

Figure 5A shows a perspective view of an improved FAIMS device having a helical shaped ion separation electrode assembly interleaved with a helical shaped ion focusing electrode assembly;

Figure 5B shows a side view of an improved FAIMS device having a helical shaped ion separation electrode assembly interleaved with a helical shaped ion focusing electrode assembly, the helical shaped ion focusing electrode assembly comprising two helical shaped electrodes;

Figure 5C shows a perspective view of the improved FAIMS device of Figure 5B;

Figure 5D shows a perspective view of an improved FAIMS device with a cutaway portion, the device having a helical shaped ion focusing electrode assembly (visible through the cutaway portion) within the annular gap between two coaxial cylindrical ion separation electrode assemblies;

Figure 5E shows a cutaway side view of the improved FAIMS device of Figure 5D, with the helical shaped ion focusing electrode not shown;

Figure 5F shows a portion of the helical shaped ion focusing electrode of the FAIMS device illustrated in Figures 5D and 5E;

Figure 6A shows an improved FAIMS device outside the scope of the claims having an outer electrode which is divided into a plurality of segments;

Figure 6B shows a typical voltage distribution across the successive segments of the FAIMS device of Figure 6A;

Figure 7A shows a perspective view of an improved FAIMS device outside the scope of the claims comprising two ion separation electrode assemblies each electrode assembly having a different radius of curvature, with one electrode assembly being segmented;

Figure 7B shows a side view of the improved FAIMS of Figure 7A;

Figure 7C shows a typical voltage distribution across the successive segments of the FAIMS device of Figures 7A and 7B;

Figure 8 shows an improved FAIMS device having a segmented helical shaped ion separation electrode assembly interleaved with two helical shaped ion focusing electrode assemblies;

Figure 9 shows a hybrid FAIMS-MS apparatus outside the scope of the claims comprising the improved FAIMS of Figures 4A to 4D in use with an ion source, gas flow input path and mass spectrometer;

Figure 10 shows a hybrid FAIMS-MS apparatus comprising the improved FAIMS of Figure 5A in use with an ion source, gas flow input path and mass spectrometer;

Figure 11 shows a prior art planar FAIMS device having multiple ion sources;

Figure 12 shows two adjacent FAIMS devices each with its own ion source;

Figure 13 shows three adjacent FAIMS devices each with its own ion source;

Figure 14 shows a plurality of FAIMS devices each with its own ion source in combination with stacked ring traps or multipoles and a stacked ring ion guide (SRIG) or ion funnel;

Figure 15 shows a plurality of FAIMS devices with a single ion source; and

Figure 16 shows a variation on the arrangement of Figure 15 wherein partitioning between different FAIMS channels is provided by a layer of wires placed longitudinally.



[0014] The improved FAIMS of Figures 4A to 4D, which falls outside the scope of the claims, is a side to side arrangement having an inner cylindrical ion separation electrode 50, an outer cylindrical ion separation electrode 70, with slits 75a, 75b for the entry and exit of ions, and annular electrodes 60 above and below the intended ion path. The ion path is indicated by the arrows shown in Figures 4B and 4C. For clarity, Figure 4A to 4D show only the electrodes, but in practice insulating components are placed between the electrodes by which the channel can be made contiguous.

[0015] In use, ions to be separated are entrained in a gas flow (from a gas flow source, not shown) which enters the FAIMS device at a first open end 75a of the channel defined by the two ion separation electrodes 50, 70 and the annular ion focusing electrodes 60. A power supply (not shown) applies a periodic asymmetric potential to at least one of the ion separation electrode assemblies 50, 70 in order to generate a periodically asymmetric electric field in the annular channel such that ions flow along the direction of elongation of the channel and are caused to separate according to differential ion mobility. A DC offset voltage or compensation voltage (CV) is typically applied to one of the ion separation electrode assemblies 50, 70 to select the ions to be transmitted through the annular channel. This causes ions to separate in a direction orthogonal to the direction of flow of the gas (i.e. the direction orthogonal to the direction of elongation of the channel). The separated ions are then exit the FAIMS device at the second open end 75b.

[0016] The annular ion focusing electrodes 60 may be configured to act as Matsuda plates. This allows for the disadvantages associated with having a channel of largely square or rectangular cross-section to be minimised. It is known that aberrations in a channel are reduced by having a channel with a toroidal cross-section. By using Matsuda plates, a field similar to that which would be created in a channel with toroidal cross-section is created in a channel with square or rectangular cross-section by the interaction of the field generated by the ion separation electrode assemblies 50, 70 and the field generated by the ion focusing electrode assemblies 60. (A further explanation of Matsuda plates is provided by H. Matsuda and Y. Fujita; "Potential Distribution In A Cylindrical Condenser Terminated By Matsuda Plates"; International Journal of Mass Spectrometry and Ion Physics, 16 (1975) 395-404.)

[0017] Figure 5A shows another improved FAIMS electrode arrangement. It comprises a central cylindrical ion separation electrode 80 and a coaxial outer helical shaped separation electrode 90. It also comprises a helical ion focusing electrode 100, which may be configured to act as a Matsuda plate. These electrode assemblies together define a helical ion separation channel. For clarity, Figure 5A shows only the electrodes, but in practice insulating components are placed between the electrodes by which the channel can be made contiguous. Having a helical channel provides for an increased length of ion flow path while maintaining the curvature of the inner and outer electrodes.

[0018] In use, ions to be separated are entrained in a gas flow (from a gas flow source, not shown) which enters the FAIMS device at a first open end 95a of the helical channel defined by the two ion separation electrodes and the helical ion focusing electrode. The helical channel is preferably substantially gas-tight so that the ions are carried in the gas flow along the length of the channel. A power supply (not shown) applies a periodic asymmetric potential to at least one of the ion separation electrode assemblies 80, 90 in order to generate a periodically asymmetric electric field in the helical channel such that ions flow along the direction of elongation of the channel and are caused to separate according to differential ion mobility. A DC offset voltage or compensation voltage (CV) is typically applied to one of the ion separation electrode assemblies 80, 90 to select the ions to be transmitted through the helical channel.

[0019] As the ions flow through the helical channel, the helical ion separation electrode 90 and the internal cylindrical ion separation electrode 80 offer the focusing in the radial direction while the helical focusing electrode 100 offers focusing in the axial direction. The gas flow which includes the ions, which are separated in a direction orthogonal to the elongate direction of the channel (i.e. orthogonal to the direction of flow of the gas), exits the arrangement from a second open end 95b of the helical cavity, which is opposite the first open end 95a of the helical cavity.

[0020] Advantageously, when different values of DV and/or CV from those applied to the ion separation electrode assemblies are applied to the ion focusing electrode, the field produced provides focusing in the axial direction (i.e. the direction of net movement of ions) as well as in the circumferential direction.

[0021] The helical cavity provides a significantly increased path length as compared with the side-to-side apparatus illustrated in Figure 4. This results in greater separation between different species of ions which significantly improves the sensitivity of the device.

[0022] Further alternative embodiments having a helical ion separation channel are envisaged. It is not necessary that one (or both) of the ion separation electrode assemblies is helical, only that the ion separation channel is helical.

[0023] Figures 5B and 5C show a variation of the embodiment of Figure 5A. The arrangement of Figures 5B and 5C includes two helical ion focusing electrodes 100a, 100b which are both interleaved between the helical ion separation electrode 90, one being below the ion separation electrode 90, and one above it. In this arrangement, the cavity through which the gas and ions flow is defined by the two ion separation electrodes and the two helical ion focusing electrodes. Again, for clarity, Figure 5B and 5C show only the electrodes, but in practice insulating components are placed between the electrodes by which the channel can be made contiguous.

[0024] Alternatively, the helical ion separation channel may be achieved where neither of the ion separation electrodes is helical. Such an embodiment is illustrated in Figures 5D to 5F.

[0025] In this embodiment, the helical ion separation channel is formed of two coaxial cylindrical ion separation electrode assemblies and a single helical ion focusing electrode assembly in the annular gap between the two coaxial ion separation electrode assemblies. The helical ion separation electrode assembly may comprise a number of component parts of the form illustrated in Figure 5F such that the helical nature of the assembly is derived from the combination of component parts. These component parts may be fastened to one or both of the ion separation electrode assemblies by means of one or more grub screws (101). Further, the outer cylindrical ion separation electrode assembly may comprise a groove on its inner surface and the inner cylindrical ion separation electrode assembly may comprise a corresponding groove on its outer surface such that a helical ion focusing electrode assembly is positioned in the two grooves. This requires some form of insulation in order to prevent current flow between the electrodes. The insulation between the electrodes might be achieved by forming the helical electrode from an electrically conductive material with insulated edges such that only the insulated edges are received into the helical grooves in the electron separation electrodes. Alternatively, the electrodes may be made from an insulating material (substrate) with a metal coating applied to part of its surface. Other arrangements are envisaged so long as the ion focusing and ion separation electrodes are not in electrical contact with one another. Anti-static coatings may be applied to any insulating portions in order to dissipate charge.

[0026] It is also possible that both the first ion separation electrode assembly and the second ion separation electrode are helical. (Such an embodiment is not illustrated.) Where only one of the ion separation electrode assemblies is helical, the other may be cylindrical, conical, frustoconical or any other suitable shape in order to form a helical channel. Where only one ion separation electrode assembly is helical, it may be the outer or the inner ion separation electrode assembly.

[0027] In further alternatives, the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies may be conical, frustoconical or any other shape suitable such that, when combined with one or more helical ion focusing electrodes, the ion separation channel is helical. Where one or more helical electrodes are used, one or both may be of constant or varying radius.

[0028] Furthermore, while the embodiments illustrated in the Figures show that the side walls of the channel form a square section, this is not a requirement of the invention. Other straight or curved sections are possible, including but not limited to a rectangle, a rhombus, a trapezium, a circle, an oval, or more irregular shapes. The ion focusing electrode assembly may, for example, have a curved cross section such that the ion separation channel is of a partially toroidal shape.

[0029] Similarly, it is not necessary that the cross section of the channel is constant along its length.

[0030] The ion separation electrode assembly and the ion focusing assembly may be reversed. That is, the ion focusing electrode assembly may be arranged in the generally axial direction while the ion separation assembly may be arranged generally in the circumferential direction. In practice insulating components are placed between the electrodes by which the channel can be made contiguous.

[0031] In respect of all of the helical channel arrangements illustrated in Figures 5A to 5F, for any plane orthogonal to the direction of elongation of the channel, the ion separation electrodes have a width which exists substantially in said plane and the ion focusing electrode(s) have a width which exists substantially in said plane. Moreover, each electrode has only two of its three dimensions (width and thickness) in the plane. The third dimension of each electrode (length) is substantially parallel with the direction of elongation of the channel and, therefore, not in the plane orthogonal to the direction of elongation.
Put another way, the ion separation electrode assemblies have a width which extends in a first direction in a plane orthogonal to the direction of flow of ions; and the ion focusing electrode assembly has a width which extends in a second direction in said plane. The first direction and the second direction may or may not be substantially perpendicular.

[0032] Figure 6A shows a segmented cylindrical FAIMS that falls outside the scope of the claims. This device comprises a cylindrical inner electrode 10 and a coaxial segmented cylindrical outer electrode 20 having segments 20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e. Each of the segments 20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e of the outer electrode 20 is electrically isolated from the adjacent segments. Thus, each segment of the outer electrode 20 can be placed at a different separation voltage from its adjacent segments.

[0033] The segmented cylindrical electrode may be formed from a plurality of discrete segments or as a single cylinder with insulating portions between each adjacent segment. In a further alternative, the cylinder may be formed from an insulating substrate with surface coatings of electrically conductive material applied to the cylinder to form each segment. Antistatic coatings may be applied to insulating portions. The antistatic coating has a resistance of the order of 106 ohms per square (MΩ□-1) to 109 ohms per square (GΩ□-1).

[0034] While five segments are shown in this illustration, any number of segments is envisaged (not only in this embodiment, but with any of the embodiments comprising a segmented electrode).

[0035] In use, a first separation voltage is applied to the inner (non-segmented) electrode 10. A second separation voltage is applied to at least one of the segments 20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e of the outer electrode 20.

[0036] In one arrangement, the first separation voltage is a compensation voltage and the second separation voltage is a dispersion voltage. In an alternative arrangement, the first separation voltage is a dispersion voltage and the second separation voltage is a compensation voltage.

[0037] Third and subsequent separation voltages may be applied to others of the segments 20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e. If the second separation voltage is a compensation voltage the third (and any subsequent) separation voltage will also be a (different) compensation voltage. If, on the other hand, the second separation voltage is a dispersion voltage then the third (and any subsequent) separation voltage will also be a (different) dispersion voltage.

[0038] By altering the separation voltage of each segment in turn, the potential values can be made to shift along the segments. This in turn generates a moving field which provides additional focusing of the ions as well as improving ion throughput as described below.

[0039] The electrode segments may be grouped together as subsets of the segments. For example, two adjacent electrode segments may be placed at the same voltage (during one particular, or more than one, time period) forming a subset of the totality of electrode segments. Alternatively, each electrode segment may be placed at a different voltage for a certain period meaning that during that period the number of subsets of electrode segments is equal to the total number of electrode segments.

[0040] Of course, it may be that the inner electrode is segmented instead of the outer electrode or that both the inner and the outer electrodes are segmented.

[0041] Figure 6B shows how an example of the potential (CV) of each segment at a time tn and at subsequent time tn+1. This illustrates how the potential appears to have shifted along by one segment.

[0042] In known FAIMS apparatus, a constant CV is required while the ions of interest are inside the FAIMS apparatus until they have been separated from the other ions and emerge from the apparatus. Then the next CV value may be applied to select the next ions of interest and so on. In other words a single CV value is applied for the whole time that the ions of interest are in the FAIMS apparatus. Longer times of analysis are required for higher peak separation capacity. Although the ions of interest should experience the same CV throughout the analysis, the area in space that a packet of ions occupies is limited. Consequently, segmented electrodes e.g. either the outer 20 or inner 10 electrodes, can be provided with a time dependent application of CV and/or DV (i.e. a CV and/or DV waveform), which can provide that multiple ions of interest can have stable trajectories at the same time. In other words two or more values of CV and/or DV are present among the set of segments at any one time in the separation of ions, i.e. different CV values are applied to different sets of segments. Preferably, a time dependent CV is applied. The regions where each CV and/or DV value is applied are spaced apart at a distance equal to the width in space of the CV and/or DV waveforms (as shown in Figure 6B). The timing of the change of value on each segment needs to be matched with the velocity of the carrier gas. In this way the throughput of selected ions is significantly improved compared to conventional FAIMS apparatus.

[0043] Figures 7A and 7B shows a further example of an improved FAIMS device that falls outside the scope of the claims. In this example, the ions flow in the direction indicated by the arrows between a first electrode 30 and a second, segmented electrode 40 having a different radius of curvature from the first electrode 30. The electrodes 30 and 40 have the usual FAIMS separation voltages applied (as described above) to effect ion separation according to differential ion mobility. While Figure 7A shows one of the two electrodes being planar (i.e. infinite radius of curvature), this is not essential. It is required only to have a different radius of curvature to the other electrode. It is also possible that the radius of curvature of one or both electrodes may change along the width of the electrode(s).

[0044] This arrangement provides for improved focusing in the radial direction by comparison, for example, with that provided by two planar parallel plates (such as those shown in Figure 1A). By improving the focusing in this way, sensitivity of the device is also improved.

[0045] As shown in Figure 7C, the potential of the segmented electrode 40 may be shifted along, segment by segment, in the same way and for the same reasons as outlined above in respect of the Figure 6A/6B embodiment.

[0046] An alternative embodiment to that illustrated in Figure 7 is one with two electrodes, each with a different radius of curvature, wherein neither electrode is segmented. Even without segmentation, this reduces loss of ions in the orthogonal direction (and hence improved focusing) by comparison with devices having an annular ion separation region, such as that illustrated in Figure 2A.

[0047] The embodiment of Figure 8 represents a modification of the Figure 5 embodiments and comprises a cylindrical inner ion separation electrode 80, a segmented helical outer ion separation electrode 110, and a pair of segmented helical ion focusing electrodes 120. The segmented ion separation electrode may have the timed CV and/or DV applied as described above. This embodiment brings together the advantages of several of the embodiments already discussed. In particular, it combines the increased path length provided by the helical flow path with electrode segments which allow for the application of timed CV and/or DV changes. This provides the simultaneous advantages of longer residence times (tres) without loss in sensitivity (therefore improved resolution) and an increase in duty-cycle by transporting ions selected by different CV values simultaneously.

[0048] Figure 9 provides a schematic representation of the FAIMS electrode arrangement of Figure 4, which falls outside the scope of the claims, together with an ion source 150 (e.g. ESI, APCI, MALDI, etc.), gas flow source 130 and mass spectrometer 170, all of which together make up hybrid a FAIMS-MS apparatus.

[0049] Figure 10 shows the FAIMS electrode arrangement of Figure 5 together with an ion source 150, gas flow source 130 and mass spectrometer 170, all of which together make up a hybrid FAIMS-MS apparatus.

[0050] Figure 10 differs from Figure 9 largely in that the ion source 150 is axially offset from the mass spectrometer 180 as a consequence of the helical ion path giving rise to a net movement of ions in the axial direction of the helix. By contrast, the largely planar movement of ions in the Figure 9 FAIMS electrode arrangement means that the ion source and mass spectrometer need not be offset.

[0051] Thus, Figures 9 and 10 are examples of two different arrangements of FAIMS device dependent on whether or not the ions in the FAIMS have a net axial movement. They are merely illustrative of the way in which any of the FAIMS electrode arrangements disclosed herein may be employed in a FAIMS apparatus. In general, any of the FAIMS electrode arrangements herein may be employed in a hybrid FAIMS-MS apparatus having ion source and mass spectrometer.

[0052] Any of the improved FAIMS apparatus disclosed above may be used in the context of multiple ion sources and either single or multiple FAIMS channels.

[0053] Figure 11 illustrates a known planar FAIMS device having a plurality of electrospray ionisation (ESI) needles 150 each providing a source of ions to the FAIMS apparatus. The ESI needles may have microfabricated tips. The FAIMS device comprise a first electrode 11 and a second electrode 21.

[0054] Figure 12 shows two adjacent planar FAIMS channels each having its own ion source 150 wherein the values of compensation and/or dispersion voltage may be independently controlled for each channel. A first channel has first electrode 11 and second electrode 12 while a second channel has first electrode 21 and second electrode 22. At the exit of each of the FAIMS channels is a slot 222 through which ions exit the FAIMS channel. The slot might equally be replaced by a hole, capillary or other opening. Behind the said opening 222 there might be a stacked ring ion guide (SRIG) or an ion funnel.

[0055] Figure 13 shows a variation on the device of Figure 12 but having three FAIMS channels and three ion sources. The FAIMS channels of Figure 13 have segmented electrodes. The segmented electrodes (which, in the case of the first FAIMS channel are labelled 11a, 11b, 11c, 11d and 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d). The segmented electrodes gives rise to the advantages described above in respect of the segmented FAIMS devices of various geometries but having only a single ion source.

[0056] Figure 14 shows a variation on the devices of Figures 12 and 13 but having four ion sources 150, a four channel FAIMS device, four capillaries as well as four stacked ring tracks and a stacked ring ion guide or ion funnel. The stacked ring traps are used to store isolated species from each compensation voltage and/or dispersion voltage derived in the FAIMS device and send them sequentially to the stacked ring ion guide or ion funnel.

[0057] A further variation is shown in Figure 15. This is similar to the arrangement of Figure 14 but there is only a single ion source 150 and the channels comprise apertures which allow ions to pass between adjacent channels. A single flow of ions from the single ion source passes into one of the channels (having applied compensation voltage CV 3) and is allowed to branch out into multiple channels by allowing selected ions to pass to an adjacent channel (having applied compensation voltages CV1, CV2 and CV4, which may be the same or different to CV3 and to each other). This allows for increased opportunity for selection and detection by comparison with other arrangements which simply allow ions to be lost through attraction to a channel wall.

[0058] A still further variation is shown in Figure 16. This is similar to that shown in Figure 15 but instead of having a small number of apertures designed to allow ions to pass between channels, wire layers are used to define the channels. The wire layers allow ions to cross to an adjacent channel at any point rather than through discretely placed apertures.

[0059] Embodiments comprising different combinations of the features disclosed herein with respect to different embodiments are interchangeable. For example, segmentation of electrode assemblies may be present in any of the embodiments which are not shown to have a segmented electrode. In addition, having different radii of curvature of two opposed electrodes may be employed in any of the other embodiments.

[0060] Furthermore, any of the disclosed arrangements having multiple ion sources or splitting a flow of ions from a single ion source into multiple channels might be equally applicable to the other disclosed arrangements including the helical FAIMS devices, the segmented FAIMS devices, and the FAIMS devices having different radii of curvature of two opposed electrodes.


Claims

1. An apparatus for separating ions comprising:

an elongate ion separation channel defined by a plurality of channel walls (80,90,100a,100b) for constraining ions within the said channel, a first channel wall comprising a first ion separation electrode assembly (80, 90) and a second channel wall comprising a second ion separation electrode assembly (90, 80) and being spaced from the said first ion separation electrode assembly (80, 90) in a direction transverse to a direction of elongation of the channel; and

a power supply for applying a periodic asymmetric potential to at least one of the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) in order to generate a periodically asymmetric electric field in the channel such that ions flow along the direction of elongation of the channel and are caused to separate according to differential ion mobility;

wherein the ion separation channel walls define an ion separation channel which is substantially of helical shape; and

wherein the channel walls further comprise an ion focusing electrode assembly (100,100a,100b) of substantially helical shape.


 
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first and/or the second ion separation electrode assembly (80, 90) is substantially cylindrical.
 
3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first and/or the second ion separation electrode assembly (80, 90) is of substantially helical shape.
 
4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the first and/or the second ion separation electrode assembly (80, 90) is of substantially helical shape, said helical shape being of constant radius.
 
5. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein the first and/or the second ion separation electrode assembly (80, 90) is of substantially helical shape, said helical shape being of varying radius.
 
6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein the first and/or the second ion separation electrode assembly (80,90) is of substantially conical or frustoconical shape.
 
7. The apparatus of any preceding claim wherein the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) are substantially coaxial and the first ion separation electrode assembly (80, 90) is arranged radially within the second ion separation electrode assembly (90, 80).
 
8. The apparatus of any of claims 1 to 6 wherein the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) are substantially coaxial and the second ion separation electrode assembly (90, 80) is arranged radially within the first ion separation electrode assembly (80, 90).
 
9. The apparatus of any preceding claim wherein the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) form walls of the channel such that a field generated by the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) causes the ions to be focused in a direction generally perpendicular to the direction of flow of ions in the channel.
 
10. The apparatus of any preceding claim wherein the ion focusing electrode assembly (100) forms walls of the channel in a direction transverse to the direction of elongation of the channel and substantially perpendicular to first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) such that focusing of ions caused by a field generated by the ion focusing electrode assembly (100) is in a direction generally perpendicular to the direction of flow of ions in the channel and substantially perpendicular to first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90).
 
11. The apparatus of claim 10 when dependent on claim 10 wherein the direction of focusing provided by the ion focusing electrode assembly (100) and the direction of focusing provided by the ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) are substantially perpendicular.
 
12. The apparatus of claim 10 or claim 11 wherein:

the ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) have a width which extends in a first direction in a plane orthogonal to the direction of flow of ions; and

the ion focusing electrode assembly (100) has a width which extends in a second direction in said plane,

wherein the first direction and the second direction are substantially perpendicular.


 
13. The apparatus of any preceding claim wherein
the first ion separation electrode assembly (80, 90) has a width which extends in a plane orthogonal to the direction of elongation of the channel,
the second ion separation electrode assembly (90, 80) has a width which extends in a plane orthogonal to the direction of elongation of the channel and
wherein a distance separating the said first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) varies in that plane.
 
14. The apparatus of any preceding claim wherein the ion focusing electrode assembly (100) comprises first and second ion focusing electrodes.
 
15. The apparatus of any preceding claim wherein the ion focusing electrode assembly (100) has a curved cross section such that the ion separation channel is of a partially toroidal helical shape.
 
16. The apparatus of any preceding claim wherein at least one of the first and second ion separation assemblies (80, 90) comprises a plurality of segments (20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e), wherein at least two of the segments (20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e) are electrically isolated from each other.
 
17. The apparatus of claim 16 wherein the segmented ion separation assembly has a time dependent dispersion voltage (DV) and/or compensation voltage (CV) applied to it.
 
18. The apparatus of claim 16 or claim 17 wherein the helical shaped ion separation assembly is segmented (120).
 
19. The apparatus of any preceding claim wherein the ion focusing electrode assembly (100) is configured to act as Matsuda plates.
 
20. A method for separating ions comprising:

directing ions in a gas flow through an ion separation channel of substantially helical shape, the channel being formed between first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) spaced apart from each other, the ion separation channel further comprising walls comprising an ion focusing electrode assembly (100) of substantially helical shape; and

applying a periodic asymmetric potential to at least one of the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) such that the ions become separated by differential ion mobility in a periodically asymmetric electric field applied between the first and second ion separation electrode assemblies (80, 90) as a consequence of the asymmetric potential.


 


Ansprüche

1. Einrichtung zum Trennen von Ionen, umfassend:

einen länglichen lonentrennungskanal, der durch mehrere Kanalwände (80, 90, 100a, 100b) zum Beschränken von Ionen innerhalb des Kanals definiert ist, wobei eine erste Kanalwand eine erste lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) umfasst und eine zweite Kanalwand eine zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (90, 80) umfasst, die von der ersten lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) in einer Richtung quer zu einer Längsrichtung des Kanals beabstandet ist; und

eine Stromversorgung zum Anlegen eines periodischen asymmetrischen Potentials an die erste und/oder die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90), um ein periodisch asymmetrisches elektrisches Feld in dem Kanal derart zu erzeugen, dass Ionen entlang der Längsrichtung des Kanals fließen und veranlasst werden, sich gemäß Differentialionenmobilität zu trennen;

wobei die lonentrennungskanalwände einen lonentrennungskanal definieren, der im Wesentlichen spiralförmig ist; und

wobei die Kanalwände ferner eine im Wesentlichen spiralförmige lonenfokussierungselektrodenanordnung (100, 100a, 100b) umfassen.


 
2. Einrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die erste und/oder die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) im Wesentlichen zylindrisch ist.
 
3. Einrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die erste und/oder die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) im Wesentlichen spiralförmig ist.
 
4. Einrichtung nach Anspruch 3, wobei die erste und/oder die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) im Wesentlichen spiralförmig ist, wobei die spiralförmige Form einen konstanten Radius hat.
 
5. Einrichtung nach Anspruch 3, wobei die erste und/oder die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) im Wesentlichen spiralförmig ist, wobei die spiralförmige Form einen variierenden Radius hat.
 
6. Einrichtung nach Anspruch 5, wobei die erste und/oder die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) im Wesentlichen konisch- oder kegelstumpfförmig ist.
 
7. Einrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste und die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) im Wesentlichen koaxial sind und die erste lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) innerhalb der zweiten lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (90, 80) radial angeordnet ist.
 
8. Einrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 6, wobei die erste und die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) im Wesentlichen koaxial sind und die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (90, 80) innerhalb der ersten lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) radial angeordnet ist.
 
9. Einrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste und die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) Wände des Kanals derart ausbilden, dass ein durch die erste und die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) erzeugtes Feld die Ionen veranlasst, in einer Richtung fokussiert zu werden, die im Allgemeinen senkrecht zu der Richtung des lonenflusses in dem Kanal ist.
 
10. Einrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die lonenfokussierungselektrodenanordnung (100) Wände des Kanals in einer Richtung quer zu der Längsrichtung des Kanals und im Wesentlichen senkrecht zu der ersten und zweiten lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) derart ausbildet, dass das Fokussieren von Ionen, das durch ein durch die lonenfokussierungselektrodenanordnung (100) erzeugtes Feld veranlasst wird, in einer Richtung erfolgt, die im Allgemeinen senkrecht zu der Richtung des lonenflusses in dem Kanal und im Wesentlichen senkrecht zu der ersten und der zweiten lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) ist.
 
11. Einrichtung nach Anspruch 10, wenn abhängig von Anspruch 10, wobei die Fokussierungsrichtung, die durch die lonenfokussierungselektrodenanordnung (100) bereitgestellt wird, und die Fokussierungsrichtung, die durch die lonentrennungselektrodenanordnungen (80, 90) bereitgestellt wird, im Wesentlichen senkrecht sind.
 
12. Einrichtung nach Anspruch 10 oder 11, wobei:

die lonentrennungselektrodenanordnungen (80, 90) eine Breite aufweisen, die sich in einer ersten Richtung in einer Ebene orthogonal zu der Richtung des lonenflusses erstreckt; und

die lonenfokussierungselektrodenanordnung (100) eine Breite aufweist, die sich in einer zweiten Richtung in der Ebene erstreckt,

wobei die erste Richtung und die zweite Richtung im Wesentlichen senkrecht sind.


 
13. Einrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei

die erste lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) eine Breite aufweist, die sich in einer Ebene orthogonal zu der Längsrichtung des Kanals erstreckt,

die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (90, 80) eine Breite aufweist, die sich in einer Ebene orthogonal zu der Längsrichtung des Kanals erstreckt, und

wobei ein Abstand, der die erste und die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) trennt, in jener Ebene variiert.


 
14. Einrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die lonenfokussierungselektrodenanordnung (100) erste und zweite lonenfokussierungselektroden umfasst.
 
15. Einrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die lonenfokussierungselektrodenanordnung (100) einen gekrümmten Querschnitt derart aufweist, dass der lonentrennungskanal teilweise toroidspiralförmig ist.
 
16. Einrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die erste und/oder die zweite lonentrennungsanordnung (80, 90) mehrere Segmente (20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e) umfasst, wobei wenigstens zwei der Segmente (20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e) elektrisch voneinander isoliert sind.
 
17. Einrichtung nach Anspruch 16, wobei an die segmentierte lonentrennungsanordnung eine zeitabhängige Dispersionsspannung (dispersion voltage-DV) und/oder Kompensationsspannung (compensation voltage-CV) angelegt wird.
 
18. Einrichtung nach Anspruch 16 oder 17, wobei die spiralförmige lonentrennungsanordnung segmentiert (120) ist.
 
19. Einrichtung nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche, wobei die lonenfokussierungselektrodenanordnung (100) konfiguriert ist, um als Matsuda-Platten zu fungieren.
 
20. Verfahren zum Trennen von Ionen, umfassend:

Lenken von Ionen in einem Gasstrom durch einen im Wesentlichen spiralförmigen lonentrennungskanal, wobei der Kanal zwischen der ersten und der zweiten lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) ausgebildet ist, die voneinander beabstandet sind, wobei der lonentrennungskanal ferner Wände umfasst, die eine im Wesentlichen spiralförmige lonenfokussierungselektrodenanordnung (100) umfassen; und

Anlegen eines periodischen asymmetrischen Potentials an die erste und/oder die zweite lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90), derart, dass die Ionen durch Differentialionenmobilität in einem periodisch asymmetrischen elektrischen Feld getrennt werden, das zwischen der ersten und zweiten lonentrennungselektrodenanordnung (80, 90) als eine Folge des asymmetrischen Potentials angelegt wird.


 


Revendications

1. Appareil de séparation d'ions comprenant :

un canal de séparation d'ions allongé défini par une pluralité de parois de canal (80, 90, 100a, 100b) destinées à contraindre les ions à l'intérieur dudit canal, une première paroi de canal comprenant un premier ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) et une seconde paroi de canal comprenant un second ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (90, 80) et étant espacé dudit premier ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) dans une direction transversale à une direction d'allongement du canal ; et

une alimentation électrique destinée à appliquer un potentiel asymétrique périodique à au moins l'un des premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) afin de générer un champ électrique périodiquement asymétrique dans le canal de telle sorte que les ions circulent le long de la direction d'allongement du canal et soient amenés à se séparer selon la mobilité ionique différentielle ;

dans lequel les parois du canal de séparation d'ions définissent un canal de séparation d'ions qui est sensiblement de forme hélicoïdale ; et

dans lequel les parois de canal comprennent en outre un ensemble d'électrodes de focalisation d'ions (100, 100a, 100b) de forme sensiblement hélicoïdale.


 
2. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le premier et/ou le second ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) est sensiblement cylindrique.
 
3. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le premier et/ou le second ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) présente une forme sensiblement hélicoïdale.
 
4. Appareil selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le premier et/ou le second ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) présente une forme sensiblement hélicoïdale, ladite forme hélicoïdale présentant un rayon constant.
 
5. Appareil selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le premier et/ou le second ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) présente une forme sensiblement hélicoïdale, ladite forme hélicoïdale présentant un rayon variable.
 
6. Appareil selon la revendication 5, dans lequel le premier et/ou le second ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) présente une forme sensiblement conique ou tronconique.
 
7. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) sont sensiblement coaxiaux et le premier ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) est disposé radialement à l'intérieur du second ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (90, 80).
 
8. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 6, dans lequel les premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) sont sensiblement coaxiaux et le second ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (90, 80) est disposé radialement à l'intérieur du premier ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90).
 
9. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel les premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) forment des parois du canal de telle sorte qu'un champ généré par les premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) amène la focalisation des ions dans une direction généralement perpendiculaire à la direction d'écoulement d'ions dans le canal.
 
10. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'ensemble d'électrodes de focalisation d'ions (100) forme des parois du canal dans une direction transversale à la direction d'allongement du canal et sensiblement perpendiculaire aux premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) de telle sorte que la focalisation d'ions amenée par un champ généré par l'ensemble d'électrodes de focalisation d'ions (100) est effectuée dans une direction généralement perpendiculaire à la direction d'écoulement d'ions dans le canal et sensiblement perpendiculaire aux premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90).
 
11. Appareil selon la revendication 10 lorsqu'elle dépend de la revendication 10, dans lequel la direction de focalisation fournie par l'ensemble d'électrodes de focalisation d'ions (100) et la direction de focalisation fournie par les ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) sont sensiblement perpendiculaires.
 
12. Appareil selon la revendication 10 ou 11, dans lequel :

les ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) ont une largeur qui s'étend dans une première direction dans un plan orthogonal à la direction d'écoulement d'ions ; et

l'ensemble d'électrodes de focalisation d'ions (100) a une largeur qui s'étend dans une seconde direction dans ledit plan,

dans lequel la première direction et la seconde direction sont sensiblement perpendiculaires.


 
13. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel
le premier ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) a une largeur qui s'étend dans un plan orthogonal à la direction d'allongement du canal,
le second ensemble d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (90, 80) a une largeur qui s'étend dans un plan orthogonal à la direction d'allongement du canal, et
dans lequel une distance séparant lesdits premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) varie dans ce plan.
 
14. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'ensemble d'électrodes de focalisation d'ions (100) comprend des première et seconde électrodes de focalisation d'ions.
 
15. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'ensemble d'électrodes de focalisation d'ions (100) comporte une section transversale incurvée de telle sorte que le canal de séparation d'ions présente une forme hélicoïdale partiellement toroïdale.
 
16. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel au moins l'un des premier et second ensembles de séparation d'ions (80, 90) comprend une pluralité de segments (20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e), dans lequel au moins deux des segments (20a, 20b, 20c, 20d, 20e) sont électriquement isolés les uns des autres.
 
17. Appareil selon la revendication 16, dans lequel l'ensemble de séparation d'ions segmenté présente une tension de dispersion (DV) et/ou une tension de compensation (CV) dépendant du temps qui lui est appliquée.
 
18. Appareil selon la revendication 16 ou 17, dans lequel l'ensemble de séparation d'ions de forme hélicoïdale est segmenté (120).
 
19. Appareil selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes, dans lequel l'ensemble d'électrodes de focalisation d'ions (100) est conçu pour agir comme des plaques de Matsuda.
 
20. Procédé de séparation d'ions comprenant :

la direction d'ions dans un écoulement de gaz à travers un canal de séparation d'ions de forme sensiblement hélicoïdale, le canal étant formé entre des premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) espacés, le canal de séparation d'ions comprenant en outre des parois comprenant un ensemble d'électrodes de focalisation d'ions (100) de forme sensiblement hélicoïdale ; et

l'application d'un potentiel asymétrique périodique à au moins l'un des premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) de telle sorte que les ions soient séparés par mobilité ionique différentielle dans un champ électrique périodiquement asymétrique appliqué entre les premier et second ensembles d'électrodes de séparation d'ions (80, 90) en raison du potentiel asymétrique.


 




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REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



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Patent documents cited in the description




Non-patent literature cited in the description