I owe Faith Robison and Valerie Gabelica for bringing this one to my attention.
Wooohooo! And reuse of these images are allowed with proper credits! Check out how cool this is.
The analyzer in question is a Shimadzu 8030 and all you have to do is wire in a subwoofer to the source and drop the sickest track you can think of -- and magically improve ionization! Absolutely makes sense, right?
Okay -- that isn't actually true...what they do is directly control the woofer to maintain constant frequencies. They tuned these in first off the instrument and performed image analysis to determine optimum settings, before actually setting it up on the instrument. The number of iterations they go through are pretty impressive as they tune this in.
Y'all know that something like 1% of the ion current ends up doing anything helpful, right? It's a serious problem that is more fun to ignore.
Okay, so is this just a weird trick that makes sense? We can aim, alter and focus ion plumes with sound? Who cares?
They tune it in for specific molecules to boost their signal! Including a couple of peptides I'd figure you'd never get to ionize efficiently in a half million years. One particularly crazy looking one that is all HPFpeptide repeats gets over 1,000x signal increase, suggesting that maybe they have a specific application in mind for all this work?