Simple and Modular Reflectron Construction Using Flexible Circuit Board Material
Small devices that can rapidly and accurately analyze chemical and biological molecules are required by many industries. Homeland security and the medical community lead the list. Current instruments are either too large to be used as a first responder in the field, too slow in giving results to analyze large amounts of protein data, or too costly for widespread use.
The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has invented and patented a multi-layered reflectron for a time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer, comprising: plural structural layers; and at least one flexible electrode layer, the flexible electrode layer creating an electric field in the reflectron when a voltage is applied thereto slow down, stop, and reverse the direction of travel ions traveling through said reflectron. The flexible electrode layer comprises a flexible substrate having a plurality of conducting traces formed therein, the flexible substrate being rolled into a tubular shape so that said conducting traces form rings surrounding a central axis through the length of the reflectron. The distance between the conducting traces, and therefore the rings, can, if desired, gradually decrease from one end of the reflectron to the other. The distance between the conducting traces can also be equally spaced, or user defined (any spacing desired).
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