18 Jul 2023
 | 18 Jul 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal AMT.

Characterization of the planar differential mobility analyzer (DMA P5): resolving power, transmission efficiency and its application to atmospheric cluster measurements

Zhengning Xu, Jian Gao, Zhuanghao Xu, Michel Attoui, Xiangyu Pei, Mario Amo-González, Kewei Zhang, and Zhibin Wang

Abstract. The newly developed planar differential mobility analyzer (DMA) serving as particle sizer can achieve higher transmission and selection precision at ambient pressure compared with conventional cylindrical DMA, and show potentials on coupling with atmospheric pressure interface mass spectrometer (API-MS) for cluster detection with an additional ion mobility dimension. In this study, we assessed the performance of a commercial planar DMA (DMA P5) integrated with the home-build recirculation system. The sizing range of the system in this work is 0–3.9 nm, although larger sizes can be measured with a sheath gas flow restrictor. The resolving power under different recirculation setups (suction mode and counter flow mode) and different sheath flow rates was evaluated using electrosprayed tetra-alkyl ammonium salts (TMAI, TBAI, THAB and TDAB). The maximum resolving power of THA+ under suction and counterflow mode are 61.6 and 84.6, respectively. The sizing resolution of DMA P5 is 7–16 times higher than conventional cylindrical DMAs. The resolving power showed approximately linear correlation with under counterflow mode, while the resolving power of THA+ under suction mode stopped linearly increase with when the VDMA was above 3554.3V and enter a plateau due to the interference of sample flow on the laminarity of sheath flow. The transmission efficiency of DMA P5 can reach 54.3 %, about one factor of magnitude higher than the commercial DMAs. The mobility spectrum of different electrosprayed tetra-alkyl ammonium salts and the mass to charge ratio-mobility 2D spectrum of sulfuric acid clusters was also characterized with the DMA P5 (-MS) system.

Zhengning Xu et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on amt-2023-147', Anonymous Referee #1, 21 Jul 2023
  • RC2: 'Comment on amt-2023-147', Anonymous Referee #2, 07 Aug 2023
  • RC3: 'Comment on amt-2023-147', Juan Fernandez de la Mora, 09 Aug 2023

Zhengning Xu et al.

Zhengning Xu et al.


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Short summary
Planar DMAs have higher ion transmission efficiency and sizing resolution compared with commercial DMA, and is more suitable for the tandem use with mass spectrometers (MS). The performance of the latest planar DMA (P5) was characterized. The sizing resolution and ion transmission efficiency was 7–16 times and about 10 times higher than cylindrical DMAs. Sulfuric acid clusters were also be measured by DMA(P5)-MS. This technique can also be applied for natural products and biomolecule analysis.