You are here : Home > Scientific news > New compact modular nano-resonator mass spectrometer

Highlight | Scientific result

New compact modular nano-resonator mass spectrometer

​​​​​A team of researchers at IRIG and CEA-LETI has developed a new compact, mobile mass spectrometer technology, incorporating a nano-electro-mechanical resonator (NEMS) capable of measuring the mass of nanoparticles and viruses.

Published on 27 October 2023

Mass measurements in​ the mega to giga-Dalton range are essential for the characterization of natural or synthetic nanoparticles but impossible to achieve with conventional mass spectrometers. Mass spectrometry based on nano-electro-mechanical systems (NEMS) has demonstrated unique capabilities for analysis at these ultra-high masses. However previously designed systems had constraints transferred from conventional instruments, such as the use of ion guides and high vacuum requirements.​​

The IRIG teams in collaboration with CEA-LETI​ have developed a more compact system. They studied the influence of pressure on the performance of the NEMS sensor and the aerodynamic focusing lens that equipped their original prototype. They realized that the spectrometer could operate at much higher pressures than anticipated, without compromising particle focusing or mass measurement quality.
Based on these observations, the researchers designed and assembled a new modular and frugal prototype. Its operation was validated in measurements of gold nanoparticles mass distribution.

This new lighter modular mechanical design significantly improves the transfer and capture efficiency of nanoparticles by the resonators, enabling analysis ten times faster without compromising mass resolution.

Fundings: Europe ERC ENLIGHTENED (GA # 616251), France CEA PTC-ID (VIA-NEMS), PRCI AERONEMS (ANR-21-CE42-0028-01), GRAL (ANR-17-EURE-0003).

Figure​: NEMS nano-electromechanical mass spectrometer system. Credit CEA​

Top page