Triboelectric Nanogenerators Boost Mass Spectrometry Performance
Triboelectric nanogenerators convert mechanical energy harvested from the environment to electricity for powering small devices like sensors or for recharging consumer electronics. Now, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have harnessed these devices to improve the charging of molecules in a way that dramatically boosts the sensitivity of a widely-used chemical analysis technique. The researchers have shown that replacing conventional power supplies with TENG devices for charging the molecules being analyzed can boost the sensitivity of mass spectrometers to unprecedented levels. Mass spectrometry is used in biomedicine, food science, homeland security, systems biology, drug discovery, and other areas.