Anyin Li

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

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.


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

Research Interests

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

Courses Taught

  • CHEM 518: Quantitative Analysis Lab
  • CHEM 762/862: Instrmntl Method Chem Analysis
  • CHEM 763: Instr Method Chem Analysis Lab
  • CHEM 862: Instrumental Methd Chem Analy
  • CHEM 934: Chemical Equilibria
  • CHEM 935: Advanced Analytical Chemistry
  • INCO 590: Student Research Experience

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