Mass Spectrometer provides simultaneous measurements.

Press Release Summary:

Featuring inductively coupled plasma, SPECTRO MS simultaneously records entire elemental spectrum between lithium and uranium for every analysis. Ion optic transports ions from plasma into spectrometer, while removing neutral particles and photons from beam. Direct charge detector with 4,800 channels is placed in focal plane of spectrometer measuring mass spectrum with average of 20 channels/isotope. By recording contents of different isotopes, instrument opens variety of applications.

Original Press Release:

SPECTRO MS Ushers in New Era in ICP Mass Spectroscopy

o New SPECTRO ICP-MS records elements from lithium to uranium with every analysis

o Novel direct charge detector and new ion optic guarantee extraordinary precision and high-sample throughput

o By recording contents of different isotopes, instrument opens entirely new application areas

MAHWAH, NEW JERSEY- With the launch of the SPECTRO MS at the 2010 Pittsburgh Conference this March, SPECTRO Analytical Instruments introduces the first fully simultaneous measuring mass spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS; see "Background" section) in the world. The SPECTRO MS records the entire elemental spectrum between lithium and uranium for every analysis. Users achieve a greatly increased sample throughput rate and much better precision and accuracy compared to using a sequential mass spectrometer.

"The SPECTRO MS changes mass spectrometry forever. The option of being able to measure simultaneously will create a revolution in the market similar to the one that resulted from the introduction of optical emission spectrometers several years ago," notes Manfred Bergsch, Managing Director for SPECTRO.

"The SPECTRO MS delivers not only more precise and reproducible results than a conventional mass spectrometer but also measures a great deal faster; opening new perspectives and applications for laboratories," adds Bergsch.

The SPECTRO-MS' simultaneous recording of the entire spectrum is enabled by a series of newly designed high-end components:

  • A novel ion optic that is extremely efficient in transporting ions from the plasma into the mass spectrometer itself, while reliably removing neutral particles and photons from the beam.
  • A double focusing sector field mass spectrometer with a Mattauch-Herzog design. An electrostatic analyzer and a permanent magnet are utilized to direct the ions onto a focal plane without additional scanning of the ion beam.
  • An extremely powerful direct charge detector with 4,800 channels is placed in the focal plane of the mass spectrometer recording simultaneously the entire mass spectrum from lithium to uranium with an average of 20 channels per isotope. Each of these channels is additionally divided into two separate detectors with different signal amplification. This allows the SPECTRO MS to achieve a dynamic working range that allows even extreme isotope ratios to be precisely determined.
  • The robust and user-friendly vacuum system features an innovative sleep mode that results in very low-energy consumption.

    The housing, software and excitation technology for the SPECTRO MS are closely related to those of SPECTRO ARCOS, which is the flagship in SPECTRO's ICP-OES product line. A robust, free-running 27.12 MHz generator is used as the plasma generator in the new instrument, guaranteeing extremely stable power coupling in the plasma.

    Offering New Standards for the Research Laboratory

    "The range of applications for the new SPECTRO MS is diverse," comments Bergsch. "We see many application areas especially for public and commercial research and development laboratories. Given the extremely high requirements of these institutions, we believe that the SPECTRO MS with its accuracy, reproducibility, detection limits and sample throughput will quickly establish itself as the standard system in a number of research areas."

    Revealing Isotope Ratios

    In addition to research laboratories, simultaneous mass spectrometry also is attractive for many branches of industry: Environmental, chemical and pharmaceutical laboratories can profit greatly from the instrument's detection limits and sample throughput rates. Precious metal processors and refineries also will appreciate the high precision of the instrument.

    New applications can be developed with the option to examine isotope ratios together with the instrument's ability to transfer the precision of the isotope ratio analysis to the quantitative determination of element contents using isotope dilution. In this way, geology laboratories will be able to more accurately characterize samples.

    Background: ICP-MS

    Mass spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS) has been an established procedure for elemental analysis for almost 30 years. The contents of a sample are analyzed using the different masses of the elements. A liquid sample is sprayed with a nebulizer into 10,000o C argon plasma. The plasma ionizes all of the elements within the sample. Those ions are transferred into the ion optic by a vacuum interface, bundled into a beam and focused into the actual mass spectrometer. The mass spectrometer separates the ion beam according to the mass/charge ratio. A detector records the ions, enabling an analysis of the elemental contents. As the world's first ICP-MS instrument, the new SPECTRO MS offers the unique combination of ion optic, mass spectrometer and detector that is able to separate and simultaneously detect an entire ion beam.

    About SPECTRO:

    SPECTRO is among the world's leading suppliers of analytical instruments for optical emission and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. SPECTRO manufactures advanced instruments, develops the best solutions for strongly varying applications, and provides exemplary customer service.

    SPECTRO products are exemplified by unique technical capabilities that deliver measureable benefits to the customer. From its foundation in 1979 until today, more than 30,000 analytical instruments have been delivered to customers around the world. SPECTRO Analytical Instruments is a unit of AMETEK, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electromechanical devices with annual sales of more than $2.1 billion.

    For more information, contact Mark Grey, SPECTRO Analytical Instruments, 91 McKee Drive, Mahwah, NJ 07430. Tel: 201-642-3000, Fax: 201-642-3091, E-Mail:

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