Recent Improvements in Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer Detection Technologies

June 1, 2014

The Application Notebook

Volume 0, Issue 0

In mass spectrometry instrumentation, the sensitivity and resolution of the instrument is often limited by the detector.

In mass spectrometry instrumentation, the sensitivity and resolution of the instrument is often limited by the detector. PHOTONIS leads the market with new improvements in detector technologies that have increased resolution and detection efficiencies of several types of time-of-flight (TOF) detectors. The result is that several manufacturers are now able to offer more sensitive TOF-MS instruments with greater resolution using PHOTONIS improved TOF detectors.

PHOTONIS's new Gen2 UltraFast™ TOF detector is designed to address two major areas that affect resolution in time-of-flight mass spectrometry: microchannel plate (MCP) flatness and anode impedance matching. The new Gen2 detector is equipped with PHOTONIS's patented MountingPad™ 2-µm pore microchannel plates with impedance matched anodes, and uses TruFlite™ MCP flatness (+5 µm) technology for a significant reduction in time jitter. These technologies combine to produce a single detector with exceptional levels of detection sensitivity and mass resolution unmatched by standard TOF detectors on the market.

The PHOTONIS Gen2 UltraFast™ TOF detector provides pulse widths of less than 200 picoseconds and a near-symmetric 120 picosecond rise and fall time. It is available with either an 18 mm or 40 mm input area, and can provide gains in excess of 5 × 106. The TOF detector offers built-in beam parallelism to provide uniform ion conversion, and is designed for front flange mount.

For time-of-flight techniques requiring higher mass analysis, PHOTONIS offers a novel high mass detector which improves the detection efficiency of very high mass ions with significantly less complexity when compared to other high mass MALDI-TOF detection solutions. The compact shape and simplified detection system supports many high mass operating modes without the need to manipulate the detector through the ion beam.

The PHOTONIS high mass MALDI-TOF detector features a large 2.54 cm2 collection area that allows for higher sensitivities without the need for higher post-acceleration voltage. The detector comprises a high-sensitivity 18 mm MCP, a high-speed scintillator, and a photomultiplier that can detect both positive and negative ions with 30 kV isolation.

This innovative solution also features a gridless optic system that provides high sensitivity detection for masses in excess of 100 kDa with fast response time (rise time <1.2 ns) and high dynamic range (>2 V into 50 Ω).

The optical coupling of the signal path allows the high mass detector to operate in multiple modes of operation (high post acceleration, grounded input, and so on) simply by adjusting the detector voltages. The gain values of the three gain stages of the detectors can all be optimized for each application with no physical changes to the detector.

PHOTONIS offers these and other innovative and patented time- of-flight detectors, including BiPolar, Off-Axis, Co-Axial, UltraFast, Low-Profile BiPolar, High Temperature, and miniature. PHOTONIS TOF detectors are the fastest on the market, with unmatched levels of temporal resolution, dynamic range, and mass detection sensitivity, and new detectors can be custom-designed to meet specific requirements.


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