Stigmatic imaging SIMS prototype installed at the University of Oxford

Ionoptika have installed a prototype mass spec instrument at the University of Oxford, marking an exciting development milestone in this project. The prototype, which is a collaboration between the Rosalind Franklin Institute, the University of Oxford, and Ionoptika, is a new design of stigmatic imaging mass spectrometer.

The first stage of this project took place at Ionoptika’s headquarters near Southampton, where this unique instrument was built and tested. Researchers at the University of Oxford will now begin initial characterization and alignment of the primary ion beam, before the addition of extraction optics and high speed stigmatic detectors.

stigmatic imaging SIMS prototype
The prototype installed at the University of Oxford

The stigmatic imaging SIMS instrument will enable rapid molecular mapping of biological tissues at unprecedented speed, as this type of mass spectrometry imaging decouples acquisition time from spatial resolution. Typically mass spectrometry imaging, such as the J105 SIMS, scans across a surface taking a mass spectrum at each spot to build up the pixels of the image.

In this case, however, the whole surface is imaged simultaneously using state of the art cameras that operate as an array of position and time sensitive detectors that record a mass spectrum for each pixel in the camera image. It therefore represents a promising route to attaining higher throughput.

The Rosalind Franklin Institute is a new national institute, funded by the UK government through UK Research and Innovation, dedicated to bringing about transformative changes in life science through interdisciplinary research and technology development. The work is focused into five complementary themes including a Biological Mass Spectrometry theme, of which this new prototype is a part.

Read the full press release here.

Ionoptika offers custom vacuum instrumentation and ion beam systems for a range of applications, including vacuum chambers, sample handling and load-locks, cameras, and secondary electron imaging, as well as our range of ion beams. If you have a project in mind and would like a no obligation quote, get in touch via our Contact Page and we would be delighted to discuss it with you.