Accession Number:



Reproducible 3D-Printed Unibody Drift Cells for Ion Mobility Spectrometry

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Technical Report,01 Feb 2019,31 Oct 2019

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, Chemical Biological Center Aberdeen Proving Ground United States

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Ion mobility spectrometry-based detectors exhibit a range of reduced ion mobility K0 values when exposed to the same chemical under identical conditions. One component of instrument accuracy that may contribute to this variation is the manufacturing process of mass-produced systems. Mass-produced ion mobility drift cells often consist of individual electrodes separated only by air, and their position and angle may vary between units due to human error during construction. These errors will create inhomogeneous electric fields and differing physical lengths among drift cells. The ultimate effect will be a discrepancy between the true ion path length and the intended drift length of the drift cell. It is hypothesized that this ultimately contributes to observed differences in peak shape and position and the resulting range of K0 values seen for identical detectors. Here, we report on a unibody ion mobility drift cell that is constructed using 3D printing and consists of fused and alternating conductive and insulating layers of preprogrammed and reproducible length. The reproducibility in the length across multiple drift cell prints was assessed using 2,6-di-tert-butylpyridine as an accurate ion mobility calibrant.

Subject Categories:

  • Test Facilities, Equipment and Methods
  • Manufacturing and Industrial Engineering and Control of Production Systems

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