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Combining streak camera technology with ultra-fast imaging to improve mass resolution and ion throughput in time-of-flight mass spectrometry (STREAKMS)
Date du début: 1 août 2012, Date de fin: 31 janv. 2014 PROJET  TERMINÉ 

We aim to develop a new type of detector for use primarily in time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Innovation in mass spectrometer design is largely driven by the desire for increased mass resolution and increased ion throughput. To date, improving the time resolution in time-of-flight measurements has relied on improving the detector and detection electronics in order to achieve better resolution of a time-dependent signal. Our detector approaches the problem in a different way. Utilising streak camera technology, the time-dependent signal from the ion detector is mapped onto a spatial axis, creating a 'streak image' that may be captured by a single column of pixels in an imaging sensor. By utilising multiple columns of pixels within a 2D image sensor, many such measurements may be made in parallel, providing a large increase in ion throughput relative to the 'one dimensional' signal acquisition employed in current time-of-flight detectors.To obtain time-of-flight (and therefore mass) resolutions competitive with high-end commercial mass spectrometers requires a highly specialised imaging sensor with clock speeds on the order of tens to hundreds of nanoseconds. We have recently developed such a sensor as part of the ImageMS project funded by an ERC Starting Grant.We plan to work together with Photonis, a leading streak camera manufacturer, to develop a working prototype of the StreakMS detector which can be beta tested by mass spectrometer manufacturers. We have already carried out extensive computer simulations and design work to demonstrate the feasibility of the new detector.


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