Miniature, Rugged Vacuum System for Portable Mass Spectrometers
DHS and the military have an urgent need for sensitive detectors of harmful materials such as toxic industrial chemicals, explosives, and chemical and biological warfare agents. Handheld instruments must be sensitive, able to detect a wide variety of target compounds in a matter of seconds, reliably discriminate between innocuous and harmful compounds, and be relatively inexpensive. A technology with great promise for addressing all of these requirements is miniature ion trap mass spectrometry (MIT-MS). These relatively simple devices are capable of detecting, identifying, and quantitating target compounds with great sensitivity and high levels of confidence. Mass spectrometry, nearly unique among analytical instrumental methods, combines high sensitivity with generality, i.e., applicability towards all compound classes, thus offering the high molecular information necessary for confident identification. One of the biggest factors preventing the development of truly low-cost and portable MIT-MS is the cost and size of the high vacuum system required for its operation. Creare proposes to address this by developing an innovative, miniature, rugged, vacuum system.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.