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Press Release 06-044
Small, Ultra-fast and Ultra-versatile Scanner Takes Chemical Analysis to the Field

Surgical aid, medical diagnostic and bomb sniffer may be all in a day's work for this little machine

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The Purdue miniature mass spectrometer can easily be carried with one hand.

Researchers at Purdue University have created a miniature mass spectrometer that promises to have applications in everything from airport security to medical diagnostics. This latest prototype, the Mini 10 portable mass spectrometer, is roughly the size of a shoebox and can easily be carried with one hand. The instrument is 13.5 inches long, 8.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches tall. It weighs 22 pounds. A conventional mass spectrometer was about 30 times that. The mini can also run on batteries.

Credit: National Science Foundation.


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Cooks and Ouyang discuss the mini mass spectrometer and its potential applications.

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R. Graham Cooks and Zheng Ouyang discuss the mini mass spectrometer and its potential applications.

Credit: National Science Foundation

 

DESI technology can perform a molecular scan of any open surface, such as this backpack.

Doctoral student Christopher Mulligan uses a desorption electrospray ionization (DESI) tube to scan the outside of a backpack worn by Adam Keil, a postdoctoral research associate. The spray knocks molecules off the pack's surface, which and are then analyzed by the Mini 10 portable spectrometer, a shoebox-size instrument about 30 times lighter than conventional mass spectrometers. The mini can also run on batteries.

Credit: David Umberger, Purdue News Service


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