The core instruments designed and constructed in the Clowers Research Group are focused almost exclusively on the accurate measurement of gas-phase ion properties. While stand alone ion mobility instruments are extremely useful in a field-based setting the combination of this technique with mass spectrometry provides a second dimension of analysis that is extremely powerful. The research ion mobility instruments being constructed in our laboratory include both high (760 Torr) and low pressure (~4 Torr) instruments both capable of operating at a range of temperatures. Below is a rough schematic of our latest stacked-ring IMS system which includes a variable pressure housing to enable a wider range of E/N values to be explored.
Available ion mobility instruments also include a high pressure ion mobility time of flight instrument capable of performing Hadamard-based multiplexing experiments for high throughput analysis.
More recently, WSU has acquired a Synapt G2S equipped with both MALDI and ESI sources for direct comparison to traditional mobility measurements made in our laboratory. Long term projects include the resurrection of a research-grade, high-resolution quadrupole TOF system. At this stage the front end assembly and atmospheric interface have been constructed with the flight chamber following in the next few months.
Combined with the low-flow liquid chromatography system the LTQ ion trap serves as an analytical workhorse in the laboratory. It finds uses ranging from standard proteomic experiments and method development. In addition to standard LC-MS experiments, this has now been modified to include a rear optical port compatible with UV photodissociation experiments. This instrument, which still retains its original functionality, now includes a removable ion mobility drift tube with enables a range of hybrid IMS-MSn experiments combined with photofragmentation.