Anyin Li

Anyin Li

Phone: (603) 862-2457
Office: Chemistry, Parsons Hall Rm S209, Durham, NH 03824

Electrospray is one of the most popular ionization methods for mass spectrometry (ESI-MS). Despite being routinely applied in the analysis of organic and biological molecules, it has many limitations that are usually addressed by additional efforts in sample preparation. We lack a thorough understanding of these limitations.
The Li+ group has been focused on a few fundamental questions regarding ESI-MS. Where are the limits for the lowest flow rate and ionization current? What is, and how to generate the smallest possible initial charged droplet? What are the characteristics of an "ideal" ESI source and how can we build one? We believe these questions will lead us to expand our knowledge, and eventually to overcome the limitations one by one.

Our research receives funding from NSF and industry collaborators.

We are actively recruiting students at all levels.

Courses Taught

  • CHEM 518: Quantitative Analysis Lab
  • CHEM 696: Independent Study
  • CHEM 762/862: Advanced Instrumentation
  • CHEM 763: Instrumentation Lab
  • CHEM 763/895: Instrumentation Lab
  • CHEM 862: Instrumental Methd Chem Analy
  • CHEM 934: Chemical Equilibria
  • CHEM 935: Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • CHEM 997: Seminar
  • INCO 590: Student Research Experience


  • Ph.D., Chemistry, Purdue University
  • B.S., Beijing Normal University

Research Interests

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Surface Science
  • Biomolecular Science

Selected Publications

  • Wang, T., Li, H., Allen, N., Ferraro, I., & Li, A. (2023). Ultra-low current electrospray ionization of chloroform solution for the analysis of perfluorinated sulfonic acids.. Rapid Commun Mass Spectrom, 37 Suppl 1, e9501. doi:10.1002/rcm.9501

  • Allen, N., Li, H., Wang, T., & Li, A. (2023). Gigaohm and Teraohm Resistors in Femtoamp and Picoamp Electrospray Ionization.. J Am Soc Mass Spectrom, 34(5), 913-921. doi:10.1021/jasms.2c00369

  • Li, H., Allen, N., Li, M., & Li, A. (2022). Conducting and characterizing femto flow electrospray ionization.. Analyst, 147(6), 1071-1075. doi:10.1039/d1an02190g

  • Li, H., Allen, N., Li, M., & Li, A. (2021). Conducting and Characterizing Femto Flow Electrospray Ionization. doi:10.26434/chemrxiv-2021-m9clp

  • Allen, N. R., Li, H., Cheung, A., Xu, G., Zi, Y., & Li, A. (2021). Femtoamp and picoamp modes of electrospray and paper spray ionization. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MASS SPECTROMETRY, 469. doi:10.1016/j.ijms.2021.116696

  • Li, A., Zi, Y., Guo, H., Wang, Z. L., & Fernandez, F. M. (2017). Triboelectric nanogenerators for sensitive nano-coulomb molecular mass spectrometry. NATURE NANOTECHNOLOGY, 12(5), 481-487. doi:10.1038/NNANO.2017.17

  • Jjunju, F. P. M., Maher, S., Li, A., Badu-Tawiah, A. K., Taylor, S., & Cooks, R. G. (2015). Analysis of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Using Desorption Atmospheric Pressure Chemical Ionization Coupled to a Portable Mass Spectrometer. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MASS SPECTROMETRY, 26(2), 271-280. doi:10.1007/s13361-014-1029-2

  • Li, A., Luo, Q., Park, S. -J., & Cooks, R. G. (2014). Synthesis and Catalytic Reactions of Nanoparticles formed by Electrospray Ionization of Coinage Metals. ANGEWANDTE CHEMIE-INTERNATIONAL EDITION, 53(12), 3147-3150. doi:10.1002/anie.201309193

  • Li, A., Wei, P., Hsu, H. -C., & Cooks, R. G. (2013). Direct analysis of 4-methylimidazole in foods using paper spray mass spectrometry. ANALYST, 138(16), 4624-4630. doi:10.1039/c3an00888f

  • Li, A., Wang, H., Ouyang, Z., & Cooks, R. G. (2011). Paper spray ionization of polar analytes using non-polar solvents. CHEMICAL COMMUNICATIONS, 47(10), 2811-2813. doi:10.1039/c0cc05513a

  • Most Cited Publications