MALDI-Sector Instrument

This instrument has been taken out of service

Overall Design

    The first ion mobility instrument used in our lab was built in ~1989. The overall schematic of the instrument is shown below and essentially consists of a reverse-geometry mass spectrometer coupled to a high-pressure, temperature variable drift cell.
    The mass spectrometer is similar to a V.G. (now Waters/Micromass) ZAB-2F instrument with a magnetic and electric sector. A variety of ion sources can be used with this instrument including EI/CI, laser vaporization, and more recently matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization (MALDI). Ions exiting the source are accelerated to 5 kV and mass analyzed with the sector mass spectrometer. Mass spectra can be obtained at an off-axis detector just before the drift cell by scanning the magnet. The magnet has an upper mass range of ~m/z 1400.
    For the ion mobility experiments, the magnet is tuned for the ion of interest and the conversion dynode is turned off. The mass-selected ions are then decelerated to 5-15 eV and focused onto the entrance of the drift cell. The cell is filled with ~3 Torr of He and the ions travel through it under the influence of a weak, uniform electric field. After exiting the cell, the ions pass through a quadrupole mass filter and are detected with an electron multiplier operated in pulse counting mode.
    In the MALDI experiments, the laser pulse triggers a timer so that the ions hitting the detector are collected as a function of time using simple pulse counting techniques. For the continuous ion sources such as EI/CI, a gate just before the drift cell is turned on to pulse the ions into the cell. The arrival time data is collected on a multichannel scalar with a 2 microsecond bin width.

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