Low-cost Flexible Manufacturing Techniques for Bradbury-Neilson Gates and Similar Interdigital Structures for Use in Miniature Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometers and Other Related Applications
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 Applied Physics Laboratory has invented and is patenting techniques and methods for using precision photolithography and reactive ion etching to produce interdigital Bradbury-Neilson gate patterns on printed wiring board (organic) materials suitable for low-cost, mass production. Additionally, the invention includes the stacking and interconnection methods necessary for the production of three-dimensional Bradbury-Neilson gate structures from the individual planar gate structures.
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