Hybrid Data System and Ion Detector for TOF Mass Spectrometry
Previous phase II work has resulted in a compact Time-of-Flight mass spectrometer developed for sensitive detection of hydrogen and oxygen leaks prior to and during the few seconds after engine start and before launch of the space shuttle. The main challenges for this application--sensitivity, accuracy, dynamic range, response time, and ruggedness--have been met in the current prototype. The sensitivity and utility of the TOF is now principally limited by the saturation of the Micro-channel-plate detector, which can handle only a few million counts per second. An approach to overcome this limitation using a new type of data system in conjunction with a combined microchannelplate/discreet ion multiplier is the subject of this phase I.We propose to increase the dynamic range of time of flight mass spectrometry by creating a data acquisition and detector system that simultaneously performs analog and multianode single ion pulse-counting time-of-flight measurements to inrease the dynamic range of a time to digital converter (TDC) for the cases when a mass peak comprises more than one ion arriving simultaneously the detector.
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