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Time-of-flight mass spectrometry with latching Nb meander detectors

Published

Author(s)

Brian Estey, James A. Beall, Gene C. Hilton, Kent D. Irwin, Daniel R. Schmidt, Joel N. Ullom, Robert E. Schwall

Abstract

Mass Spectrometry is widely used for protein characterization, structural virology, drug discovery, and clinical chemistry. However the detection efficiency of existing detectors for mass spectrometry degrades rapidly as mass is increased and is only ~10-5 at 106 Da. Superconducting detectors provide detection efficiency which is essentially mass independent and previous efforts have explored the use of superconducting tunnel junctions (STJ’s) and normal-insulator-superconductor (NIS) microcalorimeters as detectors. Both STJ and NIS detectors, however have active areas limited to ~1 mm2, well below the ~1 cm2 required for a viable system. Micro-stripline meander detectors have the potential to provide the necessary area and speed. We have fabricated simple prototype detectors, mounted them on a cryocooler interfaced to a commercial mass spectrometer, and obtained spectra of representative biological molecules. We present quantum efficiency comparisons to conventional Microchannel Plate detectors and outline the steps remaining to develop a commercially viable system.
Citation
IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity
Volume
19
Issue
3

Keywords

Mass spectrometry, niobium meander

Citation

Estey, B. , Beall, J. , Hilton, G. , Irwin, K. , Schmidt, D. , Ullom, J. and Schwall, R. (2009), Time-of-flight mass spectrometry with latching Nb meander detectors, IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=33157 (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created June 1, 2009, Updated February 17, 2017