Polyaniline: a conductive polymer coating for durable nanospray emitters
Authors: Maziarz EP 3rd,Lorenz SA,White TP,Wood TD,
Address: Department of Chemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo, 14260-3000, USA.
Journal: J Am Soc Mass Spectrom.
Publication: 2000 Jul;11(7):659-63.
Despite the tremendous sensitivity and lower sample requirements for nanospray vs. conventional electrospray, metallized nanospray emitters have suffered from one of two problems: low mechanical stability (leading to emitter failure) or lengthy, tedious production methods. Here, we describe a simple alternative to metallized tips using Polyaniline (PANI), a synthetic polymer well known for its high conductivity, anticorrosion properties, antistatic properties, and mechanical stability. A simple method for coating borosilicate emitters (1.2 mm o.d.) pulled to fine tapers (4 +/- 1 microm) with water-soluble and xylene-soluble dispersions of conductive polyaniline (which allows for electrical contact at the emitter outlet) is described. The polyaniline-coated emitters show high durability and are resistant to electrical discharge, likely because of the thick (yet optically transparent) coatings; a single emitter can be used over a period of days for multiple samples with no visible indication of the destruction of the polyaniline coating. The optical transparency of the coating also allows the user to visualize the sample plug loaded into the emitter. Examples of nanospray using coatings of the water-soluble and xylene-soluble polyaniline dispersions are given. A comparison of PANI-coated and gold-coated nanospray emitters to conventional electrospray ionization (ESI) show that PANI-coated emitters provide similar enhanced sensitivity that gold-coated emitters exhibit vs. conventional ESI.
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