A Gridless, Focusing Ion Source for a Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer
Small devices that can rapidly and accurately analyze chemical and biological molecules are required by many industries. Homeland security and the medical community lead the list. Current instruments are either too large to be used as a first responder in the field, too slow in giving results to analyze large amounts of protein data, or too costly for widespread use.
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has invented and patented (1) a grid-less, focusing ionization extraction device allowing for the use of a very high extraction energies in a maintenance-free design, (2) a miniature flexible circuit-board reflector using rolled flexible circuit-board material, and (3) a low-noise, center-hole micro-channel plate detector assembly that significantly reduces the noise (or “ringing”) inherent in the coaxial design. A method is also provided for increasing the collection efficiency of laser-desorbed ions in the TOF-MS. The method includes the steps of providing within the TOF-MS an ionization extraction devise having an unobstructed central chamber having a first region and a second region; creating an ion acceleration/extraction field within the first region; acceleration ions within the first region; de-accelerating the ions in the second region; and drifting the ions in a drift region to cause ion dispersion.
Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 6,614,020 issued. International patents issued.
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