The influence and utility of varying field strength for the separation of tryptic peptides by ion mobility-mass spectrometry. Academic Article uri icon


  • The influence of field strength on the separation of tryptic peptides by drift tube-based ion mobility-mass spectrometry is reported. Operating the ion mobility drift tube at elevated field strengths (expressed in V cm(-1) torr(-1)) reduces separation times and increases ion transmission efficiencies. Several accounts in the literature suggest that performing ion mobility separation at elevated field strength can change the selectivity of ion separation. To evaluate the field strength dependant selectivity of ion mobility separation, we examined a data set of 65 singly charged tryptic peptide ion signals (mass range 500-2500 m/z) at six different field strengths and four different drift gas compositions (He, N2, Ar, and CH4). Our results clearly illustrate that changing the field strength from low field (15 V cm(-1) torr(-1)) to high field (66 V cm(-1) torr(-1)) does not significantly alter the selectivity or peak capacity of IM-MS. The implications of these results are discussed in the context of separation methodologies that rely on the field strength dependence of ion mobility for separation selectivity, e.g., high-field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry (FAIMS).

published proceedings

  • J Am Soc Mass Spectrom

author list (cited authors)

  • Ruotolo, B. T., McLean, J. A., Gillig, K. J., & Russell, D. H.

citation count

  • 34

complete list of authors

  • Ruotolo, Brandon T||McLean, John A||Gillig, Kent J||Russell, David H

publication date

  • February 2005