Ionization processes have been discovered by which small and large as well as volatile and nonvolatile compounds are converted to gas-phase ions when associated with a matrix and exposed to sub-atmospheric pressure. Here, we discuss experiments further defining these simple and unexpected processes. Charge separation is found to be a common process for small molecule chemicals, solids and liquids, passed through an inlet tube from a higher to a lower pressure region, with and without heat applied. This charge separation process produces positively- and negatively-charged particles with widely different efficiencies depending on the compound and its physical state. Circumstantial evidence is presented suggesting that in the new ionization process, charged particles carry analyte into the gas phase, and desolvation of these particles produce the bare ions similar to electrospray ionization, except that solid particles appear likely to be involved. This mechanistic proposition is in agreement with previous theoretical work related to ion emission from ice.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.