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J Am Soc Mass Spectrom. 2009 Jul;20(7):1359-65. doi: 10.1016/j.jasms.2009.03.025. Epub 2009 Apr 5.

Development of quadrupole mass spectrometers using rapid prototyping technology.

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  • 1Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.


In this report, we present a prototype design of a quadrupole mass filter (QMF) with hyperbolic electrodes, fabricated at the University of Liverpool using digital light processing (DLP), a low-cost and lightweight 3D rapid prototyping (RP) technique. Experimental mass spectra are shown for H(2)(+), D(2)(+), and He(+) ions to provide proof of principle that the DLP mass filter is working as a mass analyzer in the low-mass range (1 to 10 amu). The performance of the DLP QMF has also been investigated for individual spectral peaks. Numerical simulations of the instrument were performed by coupling CPO and Liverpool QMS-2 programs to model both the ion source and mass filter, respectively, and the instrument is shown to perform as predicted by theory. DLP thus allows miniaturization of mass spectrometers at low cost, using hyperbolic (or other) geometries of mass analyzer electrodes that provide optimal ion manipulation and resolution for a given application. The potential of using RP fabrication techniques for developing miniature and microscale mass analyzers is also discussed.

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