TPO Newsroom

S-Curve Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer - US Patent 9,751,431

S-Curve Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer - US Patent 9,751,431


Time-of‐flight mass spectrometers are commonly used in analytical chemistry and many other applications. They contain a region where ions travel toward a detector. NOAA scientists have developed a new geometry that has improved performance over existing designs.

The new innovation is to use two successive sectors, with the second one reversed, in a geometry resembling an “s”. The result is that the output ion beam is parallel to the input ion beam and that the entire geometry folds into a very compact volume. A second benefit to the design is that certain higher-order aberrations cancel when the ion beam makes two identical but opposed turns (e.g. a right-hand turn followed by a left-hand turn).

NOAA is seeking qualified licensees to manufacture and sell this US Patent Pending device.  Interested companies should contact the NOAA TPO at for more information. 


Number of views (10276)/Comments (0)



1315 East-West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910


Our mission is to foster preeminent science and technological innovation through federal investments in research and development (R&D), partnerships or licensing opportunities at NOAA.