Positive corona discharge ion source with IMS/MS to detect impurities in high purity Nitrogen
Department of Experimental Physics, Comenius University, Mlynska dolina F2, 84248 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
2 Anhui Institute of Optics and Fine Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Hefei, 230031, P.R. China
Accepted: 9 February 2011
Published online: 21 July 2011
We have applied the Ion Mobility Spectrometry/Mass Spectrometry (IMS/MS) and the Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionisation/Mass Spectrometry (APCI/MS) techniques to study the formation of the ions in the positive corona discharge (CD) in highly purified nitrogen with impurities at 100 ppt level. The main products observed were H3O+(H2O)n ions (reduced ion mobility of 2.15 cm2 V-1 s-1). Additionally, we have observed ions with reduced mobilities 2.42 cm2 V-1 s-1 and 2.30 cm2 V-1 s-1. The intensity of these ions was increasing with the increasing discharge current. We associated these peaks with NH4+ and NO+(H2O)n. The formation of these ions results from trace amounts of O2 and NH3 in nitrogen. The time evolution of the ions in corona discharge has been studied using the APCI/MS technique in the time windows ranging from 100 μs to 2 ms. The present work indicates the ability of the IMS technique equipped with CD ions source to detect impurities below 100 ppt level.
© EDP Sciences, 2011