Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS) uses chemical ionisation to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) virtually in real time. PTR-MS has found numerous applications. For the last nine years IONICON has manufactured and distributed more than 100 instruments all over the world. The customers are scientists and technicans from universities and renowned companies.
As exciting this tool is, the PTR-MS technique does not yet have the full analytical capability to distinguish between isobaric species. Very recently, scientists from the University of Innsbruck combined a compact TOF-MS from TOFWERK AG with a PTR source successfully.
This PTR-TOF prototype offers the following features:
- an extremely hig mass resolution, m/Äm ~ 6000 which allows the seperation of isobaric species.
- to record full mass spectra up to 500 Da within a second. This represents an increase of the duty cycle by more than a factor of 100 compared to conventional PTR-MS
The overall objective of this project is to link three leading European academic institutions hanving expertise in
- plant biology
- environmental science and
- food, food packaging
with two innovative SMEs through an intensive transfer-of-knowledge approach. This link will facilitate the application of the recently developed PTR-TOF instrument for various scientific pursuits and hence will speed up the devices time-to-market release.
The expected impact of this project is manifold and will lead to the following:
- New scientific results in the research fields of plant biology, environmental science and food sciences
- Training of scientists to use PTR-TOF technology with the long term goal that they will continue to perform research with this technology
- Development of an unprecedented, high resolution mass spectrometry technology (PTR-TOF) which is capable of detecting VOCs in real time
- Direct testing of a PTR-TOF prototype at lead customers involving direct collaborations with the prototype developers
- Formal distribution of results via the project's website and organized meetings