Dual-Sided Microchannel Plate Detector Mount for Coaxial Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometers
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 is patenting a double-sided microchannel plate detector mount for simultaneous collection of linear and reflected time-of-flight mass spectra is described. This mount incorporates two pairs of center-hole microchannel plates mounted in a back-to-back fashion in which the active surfaces are pointed in opposite directions from each other. Positioned at the entrance of an ion mirror, this detector assembly will first detect those ions insufficiently collimated to pass though the mount's center hole, thereby producing a linear TOF spectrum. Those ions passing through the center hole, which are subsequently returned to the second detector following reflection, will also be detected. Since both active sides of this detector act independently, the simultaneous collection of linear and reflected TOF spectra is possible without any reconfiguring of the instrumental parameters normally required for this transition. There are no detrimental trade-offs in installing this type of detector since it allows for the detection of those ions traditionally lost by colliding with the rear of the center hole detector mount. Additionally, it allows for low and high mass data collection simultaneously and instantaneously without any type of instrumental scanning routines. This feature is particularly useful for rapid identification of unknown analytes as well as monitoring reaction progress in enzymatic digestions (reduction of large proteins into much smaller component fragments) commonly used in the field of Proteomics.
Patent Status: U.S. patent(s) 6844544 issued.
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