SPECTRO Recognized Among the Winners of R&D 100 Award

July 1, 2011

SPECTRO Recognized with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Arizona, Indiana University and iMAGERLABS for Development of Array Detector Technology for Mass Spectrometry
Breakthrough Technology Incorporated in SPECTRO MS – the First Fully Simultaneously Measuring Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Mass Spectrometer
Kleve, Germany– July 2011 – SPECTRO Analytical Instruments was named among the winners of the 49th annual R&D 100 Awards by the editors of R&D magazine for the development of array detection technology for mass spectrometers along with the technology’s co-developers – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Arizona, Indiana University and iMAGERLABS.

SPECTRO was cited for its role in the commercialization of the breakthrough technology with the introduction of the SPECTRO MS inductively coupled plasma (ICP) mass spectrometer in March 2010. The instrument also was awarded a 2010 Silver Pittcon Editors’ Award for Best New Product at the 2010 Pittsburgh Conference and a 2011 Annual Conference of China Scientific Instruments (ACCSI) Award as “one of the best new instruments 2010”.

Established by the editors of R&D magazine in 1963, the R&D 100 Award is presented annually to the 100 most significant new developments in research and development as determined by an independent panel of judges and the editors of R&D. The award winners have included such widely recognized products as the automated teller machine (1973), the fax machine (1975), liquid crystal displays (1980) lab on a chip (1996) and high-definition television (1998).

“We are extremely pleased to be selected along with our co-developers for this prestigious award,” comments Manfred Bergsch, Managing Director, SPECTRO Analytical Instruments GmbH. “It confirms our belief that SPECTRO MS represents a breakthrough that changes ICP mass spectrometry forever. 
“With its ability to simultaneously measure the complete elemental spectrum, we believe the SPECTRO MS will revolutionize the mass spectrometry market the same way the introduction of simultaneous optical emission spectrometers did several years ago,” he adds.

SPECTRO MS: Breakthrough in Mass Spectrometry
SPECTRO MS is the world’s first fully simultaneously measuring mass spectrometer with inductively coupled plasma. The instrument is able to record the entire elemental mass spectrum from lithium to uranium with every analysis. That capability provides users with a much higher sample throughput rate and better precision and accuracy than a sequential mass spectrometer.

The SPECTRO MS delivers not only much more precise and repeatable results than a sequential mass spectrometer, but it 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 in 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 channel 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.
Array Detection Technology
The SPECTRO MS incorporates the revolutionary Array Detection Technology for Mass Spectrometry (ADT-MS) that employs thousands of micro-fabricated detectors arranged in a dense array and electronically integrated into a single monolithic chip-based device, which allows it to simultaneously monitor and detect wide mass ranges at the same time without any loss of signal.

Conventional detectors are able to detect only a single mass or a small range of masses at one time—meaning that all other chemical information for that analysis is either lost or undetected. Multiple scans or runs are required to detect and analyze an entire chemical sample.

“ADT-MS provides scientists and researchers with rapid and complete access to information that was previously lost or inefficiently collected. In addition, these benefits are achieved without degrading other desirable performance criteria such as measurement sensitivity, dynamic range, stability and lifetime. In fact, ADT-MS performs these and other performance criteria at a cumulatively higher level than other mass spectrometer detectors,” notes Dr. Dirk Ardelt, Manager of ICP R&D for SPECTRO.

Benchmark System with Wide Application
SPECTRO expects the SPECTRO MS to establish itself as the benchmark system for many applications where its precision, high sample throughput and permanent and complete information about the entire mass spectrum are key benefits. These include research and development laboratories with extremely high sample throughput and high demand.

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 also 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 an inductively coupled plasma as ion source (ICP-MS) has been an established procedure for elemental analysis for over 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 a 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. With its unique combination of ion optic, mass spectrometer and array detector technology, the SPECTRO MS is able to separate and fully simultaneously detect the entire ion beam, continuously.

SPECTRO is one of the worldwide leading suppliers of analytical instruments for optical emission and X-ray fluorescence spectrometry. As a member of the AMETEK Materials Analysis Division, 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 annualized sales of approximately 2.9 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