Journal article

High sensitivity field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometer

A high sensitivity field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometer (FAIMS) was designed, fabricated, and tested. The main components of the system are a 10.6 eV UV photoionization source, an ion filter driven by a high voltage/high frequency n-MOS inverter circuit, and a low noise ion detector. The ion filter electronics are capable to generate square waveforms with peak-to-peak voltages up to 1000 V at frequencies up to 1 MHz with adjustable duty cycles. The ion detector current amplifier has a gain up to 1012 V/A with an effective equivalent input noise level down to about 1 fA/Hz1/2 during operation with the ion filter at the maximum voltage and frequency. The FAIMS system was characterized by detecting different standard chemical compounds. Additionally, we investigated the use of a synchronous modulation/demodulation technique to improve the signal-to-noise ratio in FAIMS measurements. In particular, we implemented the modulation of the compensation voltage with the synchronous demodulation of the ion current. The analysis of the measurements at low concentration levels led to an extrapolated limit of detection for acetone of 10 ppt with an averaging time of 1 s.


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