Pfeiffer Vacuum

4.1.3 Application notes

Mass spectrometer analysis is every bit as varied as vacuum applications. The above-described gas inlet systems with heated capillaries are used for gas analysis in the pressure range of up to 1 bar. Gas flows can be channeled directly to gas-tight ion sources in order to reduce the background noise of the vacuum environment. Gas beams are passed through crossbeam ion sources, with the beam either falling directly into a vacuum pump or condensing in a cooling trap.

(Figure 4.18)
Figure 4.18: Quadrupole mass spectrometer with gas inlet system, crossbeam ion source and cooling trap

(Figure 4.19)
Figure 4.19: Differentially pumped quadrupole mass spectrometer with various gas inlets

In the pressure range of less than 10 mbar (etching, sputtering or other coating processes), the gas is admitted into the mass spectrometer via an orifice or a valve. A turbopump is attached to the measuring system for pressure reduction. There are special versions for corrosive gases.

Open ion sources are used at extremely low pressures, particularly in the UHV range. Due to the low gas densities, secondary electron multipliers (SEM) that are arranged perpendicular to the axis of the quadrupole must be used as detectors. To improve the signal-to-noise ratio, a turbopump that pumps down the inflowing neutral particles is attached opposite the SEM.

Secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) represents a special case. In this process, ions are shot onto surfaces that generate positively or negatively charged secondary ions, which are detected directly by a QMS without an ion source. The measuring arrangement described in the preceding section is used in this case as well.

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