The Fenn Award Lecture

June 4, 2018

The 2018 recipients of the John B. Fenn Award for a Distinguished Contribution in Mass Spectrometry are Gert Von Helden, Martin F. Jarrold, and David E. Clemmer, for their pioneering contributions to the development of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS).

The 2018 recipients of the John B. Fenn Award for a Distinguished Contribution in Mass Spectrometry are Gert Von Helden, Martin F. Jarrold, and David E. Clemmer, for their pioneering contributions to the development of ion mobility spectrometry (IMS). The award lecture for this award will be given Monday at 4:45 pm, in Hall D, at the ground level.

Von Helden is a group leader in the Department of Molecular Physics at the Fritz Haber Institute at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin, Germany, and a professor at the Radboud University, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Von Helden made a major development in IMS when he applied it to the self-assembly of carbon in plasmas and showed that carbon structurally evolved from linear chains to rings to fullerenes. He used quantum chemical approximation methods to obtain model structures, adapted the little-known projection approximation method to obtain collision cross sections, and obtained excellent agreement with his experimentally measured cross sections.

Jarrold is a professor and the Robert and Marjorie Mann Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana. Jarrold applied IMS methods to silicon and aluminum assembly, and along with von Helden, showed that fullerenes are formed from activation of carbon ring systems, not C2 addition to graphitic fragments as previously proposed. Jarrold developed the first high-resolution ion mobility instrument and a more accurate method (the trajectory method) for obtaining collision cross-sections from complex structures such as biomolecules.

Clemmer is a distinguished professor in the Department of Chemistry at Indiana University. Clemmer developed a “nested” IMS-MS technology that used ion trapping methods to dramatically increase signal-to-noise ratio and post-IMS dissociation to obtain fragmentation patterns of isomers or conformers in a single experiment. These ideas were later incorporated into successful commercial instruments.

The ASMS Award for Distinguished Contribution in Mass Spectrometry has been renamed to honor the memory of John B. Fenn, who shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for the development of electrospray Ionization. Fenn was an active member of ASMS from 1986 until his passing in 2010.