Oscillating Capillary Nebulizer With Electrospray
Browner, Richard F.
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An oscillating capillary nebulizer with electrospray which is capable of nebulizing a liquid sample flow at microflow and normal liquid flow rates. The oscillating capillary nebulizer with electrospray comprises a pair of coaxial capillary tubes which are friction-fit mounted by way of peek tubing ferrules. A source of electric potential is connected to the inner capillary for production of an electric field in the vicinity of the distal end of the inner capillary. The dimensions of the inner and outer capillary tubes are such that an annular spacing is created between the inner surface of the outer capillary tube and the outer surface of inner capillary tube. A liquid sample is introduced into the nebulizer through the inner capillary tube. A gas flow path is provided by the space between the inner and outer capillary tubes. The gas enters the gas flow path through a port in the side of the outer capillary tube. At least the inner capillary tube is made of flexible material. Preferably, the inner diameter of the inner capillary tube is small enough to provide jet flow of the liquid sample at low liquid flow rates. The gas flow velocity, which is a function of the gas flow rate and the size of the annular spacing, is sufficient to cause turbulence of the gas stream around the free end of the inner capillary tube, thereby creating instability in the system. This instability, depending on how the system is set up, will initially cause the inner capillary tube to oscillate. The oscillation causes the generation of a high frequency standing wave along a portion of the length of the inner capillary and a breakup of the liquid jet into uniform liquid drop sizes.
- Georgia Tech Patents