SPECTRO MS Wins Silver PITTCON Editors' Award

Monday, March 1, 2010

New on the market: ICP mass spectrometer wins technical press award
First fully simultaneously measuring mass spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma for the complete inorganically relevant mass range
Manfred Bergsch: “The SPECTRO MS will establish itself as the benchmark system”
Kleve, March 2010 - SPECTRO is bringing the silver Pittcon Editors' Award home from Pittcon 2010 (Orlando, Florida, February 28 to March 5, 2010). The award for innovative new products presented at the trade show is given by technical journalists from renowned scientific and technical publications. It’s a rocky road to the award: First, 150 accredited journalists make their trade show rounds and sound out the offerings. Then each press representative nominates three outstanding products. A jury considers the preliminary selection and, finally, determines the three winners. “1,000 exhibitors compete for only three awards in the colors gold, silver and bronze,” explains managing director, Manfred Bergsch. “We are very proud that we succeeded in winning this honor for the first time.”

The SPECTRO MS, the worldwide first fully simultaneously measuring mass spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS, see “Background” section), was distinguished with this award. The SPECTRO MS records the entire elemental mass spectrum from lithium to uranium with every analysis. This provides users with a much higher sample throughput rate and better precision and accuracy than when working with a sequential mass spectrometer.

“This award proves our courageous theory that the SPECTRO MS will change ICP mass spectrometry forever,” explains Bergsch. “The option of being able to simultaneously measure will start a revolution in the market similar to the one that occurred several years ago in optical emission spectrometers.”

SPECTRO MS: Technology

The SPECTRO MS delivers not only much more precise and repeatable results than a sequential mass spectrometer, but also measures a great deal faster. 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 Mattauch-Herzog geometry. 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 located in the focal plane of the mass spectrometer and fully simultaneously records the entire mass spectrum from lithium to uranium from the continuous ion beam. Each of these channels is additionally divided into two separate detectors with different signal amplification. This enables the SPECTRO MS to achieve a large dynamic working range with which even extreme isotope ratios can be precisely determined.
The range of applications for the new SPECTRO MS is diverse. SPECTRO sees the most important application areas in research and development laboratories with extremely high sample throughput and high demand. With its precision, sample throughput rate and permanent complete information about the entire mass spectrum with every measurement, SPECTRO expects the SPECTRO MS to establish itself as the benchmark system for this application area.

Revealing Isotope Ratios

In addition to research laboratories, simultaneous mass spectrometry is attractive for many branches of industry: Environmental, chemical and pharmaceutical laboratories profit greatly from the instrument’s low detection limits and high sample throughput rates. New applications can be developed with the option to simultaneously examine multiple isotope ratios even in mass ranges that lie far apart, together with the 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 can more accurately determine samples.

Background: ICP-MS

For almost 30 years, mass spectrometry with inductively coupled plasma (ICP-MS) has belonged to the established procedures for elemental analysis: The element contents are analyzed based on the different masses of the elements. The liquid sample is sprayed with a nebulizer into an ionized, 10,000 degree Celsius, argon plasma. The plasma ionizes all of the elements contained in the sample. The ions are transported by an interface into the ion optic, bundled into an ion beam and focused into the mass spectrometer. The mass spectrometer separates the ion beam according to the mass/charge relationship. The detector records the ions, enabling an analysis of the elemental contents. The unique combination of ion optic, mass spectrometer and detector makes it possible for the new SPECTRO MS - as the first ICP-MS instrument in the world - to permanently separate and simultaneously detect the entire ion stream.

About SPECTRO:

SPECTRO is one of the worldwide 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’s 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.

AMETEK, Inc. is a leading global manufacturer of electronic instruments and electric motors with an annual turnover of approximately 2.5 billion US$. AMETEK’s corporate growth plan is based on four key strategies: Operative excellence, strategic acquisitions and alliances, geographic and market expansion as well as new products. AMETEK’s common stock is a component of the S&P MidCap 400 Index and the Russell 1000 Index.

Please contact Tom Milner for additional information, Tel: +49.2821.892-0, 
Fax: +49.2821.892-2200, E-Mail: spectro.info@ametek.com