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Mass spectrometry and instrumentation

The focus of the group’s research has turned towards performance improvement and miniaturisation of quadrupole mass spectrometers using micro-engineering MEMS techniques. Since 1995 the group has been led by Professor Steve Taylor.

Performance improvement of linear quadrupoles has been achieved through extensive high accuracy computer simulations. This work has led to several patents in quadrupole mass spectrometer technology and the foundation of a spin-out company Q-Technologies Ltd with the aim to commercialise miniature quadrupole analysers. Application areas for this work are in portable mass spectrometry for online process monitoring and gas analysis, medical and veterinary diagnosis (via patient breath analysis).

More recently our research has been focused on:

  • Security
  • Environmental and clinical applications.

Our portable membrane inlet mass spectrometry (MIMS) system was ruggedised then field-tested for detection of crude oil at the North Sea oil terminal in Flotta (Orkney). We have also expanded our research to include linear ion trap (LIT) technology and are developing a number of ambient ionisation techniques.


Academic staff members of this group are:

Honorary members:

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