Polyethylene glycol (PEG) molecules with masses below 1300 amu are electrosprayed (ES) from solution, mobility-selected at high resolution in a differential mobility analyzer (DMA), collected on a grid and imaged by transmission electron microscopy (ES–DMA–TEM). The DMA resolves individual n-mers, and selects only one out of the many present in the original sample. Ion identity is established from parallel mass spectra (ES-MS). The images reveal spherical particles 1.46 nm in diameter, in good agreement with the known ion mass and bulk density. The DMA-selection technique opens new paths for the study of very small particles.
- differential mobility analyzer
- transmission electron microscopy
- polymeric nanoparticles