Purely triboelectric charging obviates the need for external power supplies and voltage sources. This suggests that a considerable savings in cost and complexity may be possible for any technological applications that involve charged liquid droplets in the microscale and nanoscale size range.Triboelectric ionization would appear to have immediate and beneficial applicatios in the rapidly-growing field of mass spectrometry based on electrospray ionization. It is possible that a triboelectric ionization source of the variety described in this document could be used as a direct one-on-one replacement for existing electrospray ionization sources. By dispensing entirely with the need to palce a high electric potential advantages in system simplicity and reliability. In addition, charge separation by fluid flow alone suggests that triboelectric ionization may be an even "softer" form of ionization than standard electrospray. Testing of a triboelectric ionization source in conjunction with a mass spectrometer is clearly needed to prove or disprove these conjectures.
|Published - Aug 4 2005