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Delta-Doped CCDs as Detector Arrays in Mass SpectrometersIn a conventional mass spectrometer, charged particles (ions) are dispersed through a magnetic sector onto an MCP at an output (focal) plane. In the MCP, the impinging charged particles excite electron cascades that afford signal gain. Electrons leaving the MCP can be read out by any of a variety of means; most commonly, they are post-accelerated onto a solid-state detector array, wherein the electron pulses are converted to photons, which, in turn, are converted to measurable electric-current pulses by photodetectors. Each step in the conversion from the impinging charged particles to the output 26 NASA Tech Briefs, February 2007 current pulses reduces spatial resolution and increases noise, thereby reducing the overall sensitivity and performance of the mass spectrometer. Hence, it would be preferable to make a direct measurement of the spatial distribution of charged particles impinging on the focal plane. The utility of delta-doped CCDs as detectors of charged particles was reported in two articles in NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 22, No. 7 (July 1998): "Delta-Doped CCDs as Low-Energy-Particle Detectors" (NPO-20178) on page 48 and "Delta- Doped CCDs for Measuring Energies of Positive Ions" (NPO-20253) on page 50. In the present developmental miniature mass spectrometers, the above mentioned miniaturization and performance advantages contributed by the use of delta-doped CCDs are combined with the advantages afforded by the Mattauch-Herzog design. The Mattauch- Herzog design is a double-focusing spectrometer design involving an electric and a magnetic sector, where the ions of different masses are spatially separated along the focal plane of magnetic sector. A delta-doped CCD at the focal plane measures the signals of all the charged-particle species simultaneously at high sensitivity and high resolution, thereby nearly instantaneously providing a complete, high-quality mass spectrum. The simultaneous nature of the measurement of ions stands in contrast to that of a scanning mass spectrometer, in which abundances of different masses are measured at successive times.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Document Type
Other - NASA Tech Brief
Nikzad, Shouleh
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Jones, Todd
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Jewell, April
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Sinha, Mahadeva
(California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Tech Briefs, February 2007
Subject Category
Technology Utilization And Surface Transportation
Report/Patent Number
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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