Abstract by Halle Murray
Chemistry and Biochemistry
Charge Detection Mass Spectrometry with Printed Circuit Boards for Analysis of Mars Dust Particles
A charge detection mass spectrometry (CDMS) instrument is being developed for analysis of microparticles, including Martian dust particles. A linear array of printed circuit board (PCB) detectors is used with CDMS to determine the charge and mass-to-charge ratio of particles. A particle passes through a series of alternating grounded and sensing linear electrodes on the PCBs, and a differentiating amplifier separates the data into two peaks. An applied DC voltage region on the PCB detectors is used to accelerate or decelerate particles depending on charge polarity and to shift the particle’s arrival time at the final set of sensing electrodes. The velocity change that results from the applied DC voltage region may be used to calculate the mass-to-charge ratio of the particle, which combined with a measurement of the total charge, gives particle mass.