Short Course on Ion Mobility Spectrometry


  • Brian H. Clowers, Ph.D. — Washington State University

  • Maggie Tam, Ph.D. — Canada Border Services Agency


The short course for the 2019 ISIMS will be held on the Saturday and Sunday before the start of the conference. Advanced registration is required. The syllabus, learning objectives and tentative schedule are listed below. A detailed outline can be found at For further information, please contact Dr. Brian Clowers at brian.clowers AT

The short course is suitable for individuals with varying levels of IMS experience including those who are new to the IMS field. All efforts will be made to accommodate the interests of the attendees with topics ranging from IMS fundamentals to a wide array of applications. In addition to the practical perspectives provided during the course, a unique aspect of the experience is the inclusion of hands-on exercises with modern IMS equipment. Students will have the opportunity to perform actual IMS experiments, followed by a discussion of results and methods of interpretation. Finally, the 2019 ISIMS short course will also include a Master Class session on Sunday.


Dates and Location

Saturday, July 27 and Sunday July 28, 2019, Courtyard Marriott Hannover Maschsee, Hannover, Germany.



  •  History of Ion Mobility Spectrometry
  •  Operating Principles of Ion Mobility Spectrometry
  •  Applications of Ion Mobility Spectrometry
  •  Practical exercises through hands-on demonstrations with commercial IMS systems from Airsense Analytics, L3Harris, Nuctech and Smiths Detection.
  •  Master Class: Practical Approaches and Historical Perspectives. Instructors: Dr.-Ing. Tobias Reinecke and Prof. Brian H. Clowers, Washington State University. In addition to a detailed presentation on the relevant components of an IMS systems, modes of construction, and related design considerations, the Master Class at the ISIMS 2019 Short Course will include physical examples of complete drift cells constructed at WSU. Students will also have the opportunity to assemble a drift cell using instructor-provided materials.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the principles and operation of linear gradient ion mobility, differential mobility spectrometry, aspirator and dynamic field instruments
  • Describe and specify the instrument attributes associated with hyphenated mobility systems
  • Through practical exercises, analyze and interpret ion mobility spectra; and evaluate the effect of changes in the operational parameters of an ion mobility spectrometry experiment


Short course program




 Saturday Topic 
 8:00  01: Registration and Welcome  
 8:15  02: History of IMS
 9:00  03: Overview on Operating Principles of IMS
 9:45  04: Operating Principles: Ionization Sources
 10:30  Break 
 10:45  05: Operating Principles: Ion Chemistry 
 11:30  06: Fundamental Considerations: Collisional Theory
 12:15  Lunch 
 13:15   07: Operating Principles: Approaches to Measuring Mobility 
 14:00  08: Hybrid Instruments 
 14:45   Break
 15:15  09: Instrument Hands-on Demonstration: Introduction 
 15:30  10: Instrument Hands-on Demonstration (continued) 
 17:30   Question and Answer Session
 17:45  Adjourn 
 Sunday Topic 
 8:30   Discussion on Saturday topics 
 8:45   11: Applications of IMS: Security Applications 
 9:45   12: Applications of IMS: Biomolecular Challenges 
 10:30   Break
 10:45  13: Applications of IMS: 'Omics 
 11:30  14: Master Class: Practical Approaches and Historical Perspectives 
 12:15  Lunch 
 13:00   15: Master Class (continued)
 14:30  16: Course Evaluation and Adjourn