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Vacuum microelectronics and the mass spectrometer

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1 Author(s)
Felter, T.E. ; Lawrence Livermore Nat. Lab., CA, USA

Summary form only given, as follows. Vacuum microelectronics affords many opportunities in mass spectrometry. From exotic spacecraft spectrometers to the venerable quadrupole, properties such as low power make field emitters and the closely related field ionizers expand the envelope of this important area of analysis. This expansion can be in the form of radical simplification of mass spectra enabling analysis of complicated samples such as blood serum or crude oil, as in the case of the "soft" ionization from a field ionizer; or it can be a leap in evolution, as in the case of quadrupoles. In either case, elimination of the hot filament avoids a number of common problems, including, thermal cracking of delicate molecules, outgassing of the filament itself and nearby components, high power requirements for the filament, large size, stray light, stray magnetic fields, contamination by thoria and tungsten, and long warm-up time. Moreover, the reduced gas load and inherently small size of vacuum microelectronics structures lead to miniaturization, enable the use of much smaller pumps, and permit higher pressure operation; all of great advantage in portable applications. Rapid progress in field emitter flat panel displays is expected to "spill" over, making cheap and rugged FEAs available for mass spectrometers. The status of commercialization will be reported.

Published in:

Plasma Science, 1998. 25th Anniversary. IEEE Conference Record - Abstracts. 1998 IEEE International on

Date of Conference:

1-4 June 1998