Development of soft plasma ionization (SPI) source for analysis of organic compounds

Hyunkook Park, Ickhee Lee, Kyu Seong Choi, Kazuaki Wagatsuma, Sang Chun Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We present a newly designed soft plasma ionization (SPI) source developed for mass spectrometric study of organic compounds in this study. The SPI cell having a relatively small size consists of a hollow anode and a hollow mesh cathode. The voltage-current characteristic depending on the pressure was investigated, indicating that it has similar characteristics to conventional hollow cathode glow discharges. To investigate the emission characteristics of the SPI source, some molecular band emission spectra (N2, N2 + and OH+) were measured by using argon and helium discharge gases. The SPI source was installed to a commercially used quadrupole mass analyzer for analyzing organic compounds. To demonstrate the SPI source, the mass spectra of some organic compounds (methylene chloride, toluene, benzene, cyclohexane and chloroform) were measured. The organic compounds were ionized with good stability in the plasma, and the fragmentation depended on the applied current. When helium and argon gases were used as the discharge gas, the helium plasma was more suitable for SPI-MS rather than argon because the argon plasma not only suffers from spectral interference but also has lower sensitivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1659-1666
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jul 31


  • Glow discharge process
  • Molecular emission spectrum
  • Organic mass spectrometry
  • Plasma source mass spectrometry
  • Soft plasma ionization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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