A Better Way to Profile Your Ion Beam in Instrument Design for More Accurate Analysis

February 1, 2015
Photonis, USA

The Application Notebook

Volume 0, Issue 0

Photonis has combined two of our superior detection and analysis technologies into a new digital ion beam profiling unit. The new Ion Beam Profiler combines a large microchannel plate (up to 120 mm) in a complete assembly with the Photonis Nocturn, a high-resolution digital CMOS low-light camera which is immune to sudden light damage.

Photonis has combined two of our superior detection and analysis technologies into a new digital ion beam profiling unit. The new Ion Beam Profiler combines a large microchannel plate (up to 120 mm) in a complete assembly with the Photonis Nocturn, a high-resolution digital CMOS low-light camera which is immune to sudden light damage. Together these highly sensitive imaging components offer a detailed image of your instrument's ion beam, allowing system designers to identify and correct any areas of ion loss that had previously been overlooked. This new diagnostic tool allows the instrument to be designed to maximize the amount of ions collected for a superior analysis.

Tracing the Path

Ion optics modeling software is often used to design and predict the ion path within a mass spectrometer. The conventional method for aligning an ion beam consists of scanning the beam over a Faraday cup or electron multiplier, integrating the current, and finding the settings which produce the highest signal. However, ion trajectories can be influenced by many factors which are not considered in the model. Efficiently transporting ions from the source through the mass filter is critical for maximizing instrument sensitivity.

The new Photonis Ion Beam Profiler can visualize the location of any charged particle (ion, electron, UV, photon, or soft X-ray), enabling the instrument designer to ensure all available signal ions are collected. The unit can capture images from the phosphor screen at rates up to 100 frames per second and store them on a PC for collaboration and comparison testing. A strobe trigger is available to synchronize the camera to a specific event. The unit can also be used as a real-time tuning device, allowing an instrument designer to receive immediate feedback on the focus, alignment, and trajectory of the ion beam, and can also show any obstructions in the pathway, such as a loose wire (Figure 1).


Figure 1: Actual images taken of the ion beam during ion optimization process. Top left shows a well-focused beam; top right shows a poorly focused beam. Bottom left shows a defocused beam while bottom right demonstrates a close up of a region of interest.

Connectivity Options

The Nocturn camera provided with the Ion Beam Profiler can be ordered with a variety of connectivity options for simple video analysis, including GigE Vision®, USB3 GenICam®, USB, CameraLink® compatible, or analog NTSC or PAL. Some models are also offered with a color video sensor, which can provide color video at higher light levels and monochrome images at light levels less than 100 mlx to eliminate color noise from the image.

Versatile Applications

The new Ion Beam Profiling unit can be used in wide range of applications, including ion optic model verification, imaging TOF, VUV spectroscopy, and high energy physics as well as ion beam profiling. The unit can be custom-fit with a specific microchannel plate and electro-optic housing to fit your unique application.

Photonis USA
660 Main Street, Sturbridge, MA 01566
tel. (508) 347-4000
Website: www.photonis.com