Photonis awarded spectrometer glass manufacture patent

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Electro-optic manufacturer Photonis has been awarded a patent for the manufacture of resistive glass tubes with non-linear gradient electrical resistance changes.

Resistive glass is manufactured in a process that creates an electric field to guide or direct charged particles. It consists of alkali-doped lead silicate glass that has been reduced to make the surface a semiconductor. This patented process can be used to create a solid-piece reflectron lens for use in reflectron-type time of flight mass spectrometers. Reflectron lenses are used in time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometers to create an electrostatic field to alter ion flow, providing for a longer flight path and therefore greater resolution.

Existing reflectron-type TOF mass spectrometer instruments use complex multi-piece stacked ring assemblies which carry time-consuming assembly and cleaning processes. They also require the use of a voltage divider in each layer to reverse ion direction. A reflectron lens made with resistive glass provides a replacement for a stacked ring assembly while providing the same ability to alter ion flow. It becomes a form-fit-function replacement for the multi-piece stacked ring assemblies. Additionally, the solid resistive glass piece provides for simpler cleaning and replacement.