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Published February 1969 | public
Journal Article Open

A Programmable Magnetic Field Mass Spectrometer with On-Line Data Processing


A single focusing, 30.48 cm radius, 60° sector magnet mass spectrometer was constructed with symmetric conjugate foci calculated from fringe field data and corresponding to a beam deflection of 68°. Experimental and calculated optical characteristics agree well. A rotating coil probe and a rate coil are employed as field sensors for a nulling device and for field scanning. The magnetic field can be set to 27 values corresponding to the center of spectral lines and zero lines on both sides of each peak. The automatic scanning consists of: (1) rapid field change between adjacent field values (~500 G/sec); (2) locking in at the preset field values (~0.3 sec); (3) remaining in a channel for a preset time during which the ion beam current is integrated and the data digitized. Repeated arbitrary excursions between channels do not cause effective field variations of more than |DeltaB/B| = 2×10^–5. For 0.2 mm source and 0.64 mm collector slit settings, a typical peak at mass 88 is flat for 2.7 G to 0.01% at a 14 kV accelerating potential. Data consist of channel intensity, scale factors, and internally provided clock time; data signals drive a typewriter and tape punch. A cyclic scan of five isotopes including background requires 35 sec. A segment of data (~10 cycles) is processed by the computer and the results returned to the operator.

Additional Information

©1969 The American Institute of Physics (Received 8 July 1968; revised 21 October 1968) The authors wish to thank Pai Young, G. W. Barton, L. A. Dietz, and W. R. Shields for aid and discussion during the design and construction of this instrument. R. E. Haas helped with the computer programming. This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation (GP 5391, GP 7976). Contribution No. 1543, Division of the Geological Sciences.


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