Carbon nanotube electron ionization source for portable mass spectrometry

Theresa Evans-Nguyen, Charles B. Parker, Christina Hammock, Andrew H. Monica, Elena Adams, Luann Becker, Jeffrey T. Glass, Robert J. Cotter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Cold cathode carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are used in a low-voltage quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer and shown to be a viable low-power alternative to filament sources for portable mass spectrometry instrumentation. No heating is necessary, and the power consumption depends only on the switching characteristics of the electronics. The CNT electron sources are mounted directly in the ring electrode, and their performance is compared directly with a filament source also mounted in the ring electron. Up to a 5 × 10 -4 Torr CO 2 environment, reflecting conditions expected during operation in a Mars atmosphere, the CNT emitters may provide up to 1 μA of current over more than 200 h.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6527-6531
Number of pages5
JournalAnalytical chemistry
Issue number17
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry


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