Analysis of 3-panel and 4-panel microscale ionization sources

Journal Article

Two designs of a microscale electron ionization (EI) source are analyzed herein: a 3-panel design and a 4-panel design. Devices were fabricated using microelectromechanical systems technology. Field emission from carbon nanotube provided the electrons for the EI source. Ion currents were measured for helium, nitrogen, and xenon at pressures ranging from 10-4 to 0.1 Torr. A comparison of the performance of both designs is presented. The 4-panel microion source showed a 10× improvement in performance compared to the 3-panel device. An analysis of the various factors affecting the performance of the microion sources is also presented. SIMION, an electron and ion optics software, was coupled with experimental measurements to analyze the ion current results. The electron current contributing to ionization and the ion collection efficiency are believed to be the primary factors responsible for the higher efficiency of the 4-panel microion source. Other improvements in device design that could lead to higher ion source efficiency in the future are also discussed. These microscale ion sources are expected to find application as stand alone ion sources as well as in miniature mass spectrometers. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Natarajan, S; Parker, CB; Piascik, JR; Gilchrist, KH; Stoner, BR; Glass, JT

Published Date

  • 2010

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 107 / 12

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-8979

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1063/1.3429220