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Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS

Design, simulation, and fabrication of a MEMS-based air amplifier for electrospray ionization
Author(s): Petr Jurčíček; Helin Zou; Shuai Gao
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Paper Abstract

Recent developments in electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) show that air amplifiers can be utilized to significantly enhance droplet desolvation and to focus gas-phase ions when provided between an electrospray (ES) source and the mass spectrometer (MS). However, these devices are bulky and expensive, which may be a factor prohibiting their broader utilization. We have developed a simple but effective method based on Bernoulli’s principle, the Coanda effect and MEMS processing to focus electrosprayed droplets and liberated gas-phase ions. We demonstrate a computer simulation and fabrication process for a micromachined air amplifier. The simulation results are used to optimize the geometry and to meet performance requirements. The optimized results then provide a design guideline for the device’s fabrication. The air amplifier is formed from two bonded polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) casts. Each PDMS cast is fabricated through a molding process using a micromachined two-layer SU-8 mold. Experimental results show a 30-fold improvement in the ES current for certain operation conditions while the air amplifier is incorporated in the nano-electrospray ionization (nano-ESI) process. Compared with traditional air amplifiers, the micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) based air amplifier provides good performance while keeping the fabrication process simple and cost effective.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 May 2013
PDF: 8 pages
J. Micro/Nanolith. 12(2) 023006 doi: 10.1117/1.JMM.12.2.023006
Published in: Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS Volume 12, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Petr Jurčíček, Dalian Univ. of Technology (China)
Helin Zou, Dalian Univ. of Technology (China)
Shuai Gao, Dalian Univ. of Technology (China)


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