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 technicians from universities and renowned companies. As exciting as this tool is, the PTR-MS technique does not yet have the full analytical capability to distinguish between isobaric species.
Very recently, scientists from UIBK combined a compact TOF-MS from TOFWERK with a PTR source successfully. This PTR-TOF prototype offers the following features: an extremely high mass resolution, m/delta(m) ~ 6.000 which allows the separation of isobaric species! to record full mass spectra up to 500 Dalton within a second! This represents an increase of the duty cycle by more than a factor of 100 compared to conventional PTR-MS.