We collected the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers around the SICRIT® technology below. If you are not able to find an answer to your question in the FAQ, please do not hesitate to contact us.
SICRIT is short for Soft Ionization by Chemical Reaction In Transfer.
What is the principle of SICRIT?
SICRIT is a plug & play flow through ionization source by Plasmion for mass spectrometers. It utilizes a cold plasma formed by a dielectric barrier discharge (DBDI) for soft ionization of organic molecules.
What ion forms are usually generated by SICRIT®?
SICRIT® combines three ionization mechanisms (ESI, APCI and APPI). For this reason, mainly protonated and deprotonated species along with radicals are being formed. For molecules with at least one functional group, it is almost exclusively [MH]+.
Can I somehow control which ionization pathway is more prevalent at the specific moment?
Yes and no. There is no ‘’switch’’ to control the ionization pathways. However, by modifying the environmental conditions (e.g. delivering more humidity), one or another ionization pathways may be enhanced.
Does SICRIT® require any consumables?
The only consumable is the ionization core might need to be replaced after about 12 months, highly depending on the application and usage. The replacement procedure takes about 60 seconds, though.
Do I need any noble / external gases to run SICRIT®?
No, SICRIT® needs no extra gases to ignite the plasma. It works even with ambient air. However, noble gases can be used if required for a specific application.
Which separation techniques can one couple to SICRIT®?
SICRIT® enables a coupling with almost all common separation techniques like LC, GC or SFC.
Does SICRIT® affect the frequency of MS cleaning?
As for now, Plasmion has no data that operating SICRIT® would have any connection with getting the connected MS more contaminated.
What maintenance does SICRIT® require?
SICRIT® requires very low maintenance. In case there should be any contamination or clocking, users can easily clean the source themselves, following our cleaning instruction video (link).
The source is controlled using the supplied control unit or the supplied software.
Can the operation of the SICRIT ion source harm my mass spectrometer?
No – the source is mounted on the existing inlet of the mass spectrometer, so no changes are made to the mass spectrometer itself.
Which settings need to be changed on the mass spectrometer?
Basically nothing needs to be changed on the mass spectrometer setup. Only unused parameters (such as gas flows and spray voltage) are switched off or reduced.
Having SICRIT® installed, do I have to optimize my current MRMs?
No, SICRIT® allows you to work with all currently used MS workflows.
How does SICRIT® deal with non-volatile samples?
SICRIT® is plasma based ionization source designed for gas phase analysis. To cope with non-volatile samples, Plasmion offers modules (e.g. GC/SPME- or LC/SFC-Module) that allow to inject and vaporize liquids or inject and thermally desorb solid samples, e.g. via solid phase microextraction (SPME).
Can I switch SICRIT® from positive to negative mode?
SICRIT® produces both types of ions simultaneously. Therefore, polarity can be directly switched on the MS without further adjustments necessary for the source.
Can I compare the GC-SICRIT data to existing databases, e.g. NIST?
Yes and no. The comparison with existing databases is possible. However, since almost exclusively [MH]+ species are observed, the comparison is only possible with LC-MS databases and not with GCEI- MS databases e.g. NIST.
SICRIT® installation and de-installation takes about a minute. This means, one can also easily switch back and forth with other ion source if needed.
Do I have to install any additional software to operate SICRIT®?
No, SICRIT® is strictly plug-and-play. You just need to install the hardware and push the “On”-Button.
Do I have to vent my MS during SICRIT® installation?
No. The vacuum of your MS stays completely intact during the installation.
What mass spectrometer manufacturers are currently supported by SICRIT?
Plasmion currently supplies interfaces for almost all SCIEX, Thermo, Agilent, Bruker, Jeol, Shimadzu, and Waters instruments. Other manufacturers or individual solutions are available on request.
Which mass spectrometers can be equipped with SICRIT?
Generally all LC-mass spectrometers with an API (Atmospheric Pressure Inlet) can be equipped with the SICRIT source. This means all mass spectrometers which are usually equipped with an ESI or APCI source.