SPion System™

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SPion System™ is a novel high-performance and easy-to-use atmospheric pressure sampling (APS) interface for mass spectrometry. 

SPion System™ consists of four components:

01   SPion Inlet

SPion Inlet™ is an advanced microprocessor-controlled, handheld atmospheric pressure sampling inlet for receiving and transporting ions from an ionization source to vacuum.  SPion Inlet™ incorporates a capillary inlet, a heater block with a PID temperature control providing up to 150°C, an absolute orientation sensor for accurate positioning, a status indicator for intuitive operation. It also includes electronics to supply voltages to the capillary inlet and SPion Tube™ and to monitor and report the health of the SPion Inlet™ and SPion Tube™ back to SPion Controller™.

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02   SPion Tube

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SPion Tube™ is a flexible ion guide that allows lossless ion transfer in a flexible path. SPion Tube™ is maintained at 1-3 Torr and employs two radio frequency (RF) voltages for lossless ion transfer from SPion Inlet™ to SPion Interface™ and eventually to the mass spectrometer. SPion Tube™ operates with RF voltages (0.1 to 1MHz and 0 to 80Vpp supplied by SPion Controller™). The frequency and voltage adjustment allows for tuning the system for optimal transfer of low and high mass range ions. A resistive network along SPion Tube™ provides a DC gradient along SPion Tube™ between the first ring electrode (on the SPion Inlet™ side) and the last ring electrode (on the SPion Interface™ side). The end of SPion Tube™ can incorporate an optional ion funnel at no cost to focus ions for transferring into the mass spectrometer.

03   SPion Interface

SPion Interface™ replaces a mass spectrometer’s original vacuum interface and is engineered to mechanically match the mass spectrometer’s interface while maintaining high-efficiency ion transfer from SPion Tube™ to the mass spectrometer. The RF voltages and the last ring electrode DC voltage are supplied to SPion Tube™ via connectors on SPion Interface™. The ion funnel at the end of SPion Tube™ is precisely aligned inside SPion Interface™ to maximize ion transfer from SPion Tube™ to the mass spectrometer. Exchanging instruments’ original APS interface to install SPion Interface™ is accomplished quickly and easily, and requires breaking instrument’s vacuum.

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04   SPion Controller

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SPion Controller™ is a stand-alone unit that incorporates a microprocessor and a touchscreen display with a user-friendly menu to modify system parameters. System parameters, such as temperature, voltages, and frequencies, can be set and monitored from the touchscreen display. Adjusting system parameters is typically not required during normal operation and is provided to allow for technical flexibility. SPion Controller™ includes an advanced power amplifier that allows for the operation of SPion Tube™ over a wide range of frequencies (0.1 to 1MHz) and provides up to 80Vpp. The upper limit for the DC voltages supplied by SPion Controller™ can be set to 50V or 100V via the touchscreen display. Current and voltage readbacks are easily accessible via SPion Controller™. The current readback (~1nA resolution) provides an easy mechanism to monitor ion loss on the capillary inlet. For reliable operation, SPion Controller™ continuously monitors the health of SPion Tube™ by monitoring the resistance of SPion Tube™ and the level of RF voltages at SPion Inlet™. When enabled, a motion-activated timer idles the system when it is not in use.