Syft says new instrument is 'new generation' of SIFT-MS

By Huw Kidwell

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Atom, Chemistry

Syft Technologies of New Zealand released the latest generation of
Selected Ion Flow Tube-Mass Spectrometry (SIFT) instrumentation at
Pittcon 2008 for the analysis of very low levels of organic
compounds in air (detection limits as low as 50 parts per
trillion).

The company's newest offering is the Voice200, which is a SIFT-MS instrument with applications in food and flavour chemistry, analysis of hydrocarbons and screening for toxic chemicals and explosives at very low levels. The instrument can be used to take breath measurements for physiological measurements and food research into flavour release, air quality measurements, and even chemical/biohazard detection. The bench-top instrument, which has the footprint of a small photocopier (half the size of the older Voice100) uses super-soft chemical ionisation, which allows quantitative real time volatile organic compound detection in moist air at levels of parts per trillion (ppt) but can also filter out the response from background compounds present in air samples. SIFT-MS is a technique where the ions are formed by the use of a microwave plasma ion source along with three precursor ions (H3O+​, O2+​, and NO+​) to chemically ionise VOCs in air samples (the Voice200 can even use negative mode ionisation to detect compounds such as sulphuryl fluoride). This process forms product ions, which are indicative of VOCs present in a sample. Product ions may be detected over a full mass range of 10 to 240 atomic mass units (amu). T he precursor ions are sampled and selected by the quadrupole in upstream mode and are then passed to the flow tube via a capillary tube in a stream of argon (improves diffusion) and helium (thermalisation and carrier gas) and finally passed to the quadrupole mass filter in downstream mode for selection according to their mass to charge ratio (m/e​). Syft Technologies has recently opened an office in North America in Pittsburgh and has agreed to supply the Voice200 to the Canadian Border Security Agency for use in detection of hazardous fumigants (the Canadians have already trialled the Voice100). The first commercial instrument for the company, the Voice100 was released at Pittcon 2005 but the new Voice200 is smaller lighter and more sensitive. Geoff Peck, the CEO of Syft Technologies, commented: "The design criteria and the market requirements for this next generation of instruments were exacting. We set a goal to significantly reduce the size and weight of the instrument while enhancing the detection capability. "We redesigned the internal structure of the instrument to simplify the manufacturing and maintenance processes but kept the push button simplicity of the original Voice100... trials of the new technology are already producing significant results that are presenting new commercial opportunities for a number of prospects in North America and Europe​."

Related topics: Upstream Processing

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