Two-dimensional aperture coding for magnetic sector mass spectrometry

Zachary E. Russell, Evan X. Chen, Jason J. Amsden, Scott D. Wolter, Ryan M. Danell, Charles B. Parker, Brian R. Stoner, Michael E. Gehm, David J. Brady, Jeffrey T. Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


In mass spectrometer design, there has been a historic belief that there exists a fundamental trade-off between instrument size, throughput, and resolution. When miniaturizing a traditional system, performance loss in either resolution or throughput would be expected. However, in optical spectroscopy, both one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) aperture coding have been used for many years to break a similar trade-off. To provide a viable path to miniaturization for harsh environment field applications, we are investigating similar concepts in sector mass spectrometry. Recently, we demonstrated the viability of 1D aperture coding and here we provide a first investigation of 2D coding. In coded optical spectroscopy, 2D coding is preferred because of increased measurement diversity for improved conditioning and robustness of the result. To investigate its viability in mass spectrometry, analytes of argon, acetone, and ethanol were detected using a custom 90-degree magnetic sector mass spectrometer incorporating 2D coded apertures. We developed a mathematical forward model and reconstruction algorithm to successfully reconstruct the mass spectra from the 2D spatially coded ion positions. This 2D coding enabled a 3.5× throughput increase with minimal decrease in resolution. Several challenges were overcome in the mass spectrometer design to enable this coding, including the need for large uniform ion flux, a wide gap magnetic sector that maintains field uniformity, and a high resolution 2D detection system for ion imaging. Furthermore, micro-fabricated 2D coded apertures incorporating support structures were developed to provide a viable design that allowed ion transmission through the open elements of the code.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-256
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Coded aperture sector mass spectrometry
  • Computational mass spectrometry
  • Miniature mass spectrometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Spectroscopy


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