Case Studies

Mini mass spectrometer

Scientists from the University of Liverpool have developed original technology to achieve the world’s smallest quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS), using gold-coated optical fibre on a silicon substrate. It is also the first QMS to be micro-engineered in silicon.

The market for portable mass spectrometers is huge – it is a multi-billion pound industry – with applications in security, forensics, process monitoring, environmental and biomedical sensing.

The patent for this QMS, the first granted for a miniature QMS, is held by Q-Technologies; a new high-tech spin-out company created as a result of this development.

This new approach will allow a greater mass range in a smaller footprint than previously produced, allowing greater scale of impact than was possible before. The new technology will also drive further business growth and performance at Q-Technologies.

Micro-machined quadrupole mass filter showing gold-coated optical fibres in silicon wafer holder developed at the University of Liverpool. Patents held by Q-Technologies.

Micro-machined quadrupole mass filter showing gold-coated optical fibres in silicon wafer holder developed at the University of Liverpool. Patents held by Q-Technologies.

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