3D-Printed, Miniaturized Cassinian Trap Mass Spectrometer for Space Research and General Ambient Analysis Applications

PI: Luis F. Velásquez‐García, Microsystems Technology Laboratories, MIT
PI: Evgeny Nikolaev, Space Center, Skoltech

Using supercomputer modeling and experimental work, we propose to demonstrate a novel 3D-printed, miniaturized, high-resolution mass spectrometer (MS) based on a Cassinian ion trap–with more than a hundred times the resolution of a standard MS system. In a Cassinian trap, ions are confined by an electrostatic potential that is quadratic in one direction; the ion oscillations along this direction are harmonic and their oscillation frequencies depend on the ion masses. The complex electrode shapes of Cassinian traps cannot be built by conventional metalworking; however, advanced additive manufacturing techniques can be used to create freeform metallic solids with unprecedented precision. The MS we propose to demonstrate in this project is a portable instrument so precise that it  can be used to determine the atomic composition and molecular structure of substances in applications such as space research, explosives detection, and monitoring of air, water, and food.

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