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Proton Transfer Reactor Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry (PTR-TOF-MS)

Kore PTR-TOF-MS instruments are now available in two standard forms:

The Original 'Series I' Kore PTR-TOF-MS

System photo

Configured as an accessible lab instrument with a compact flight tube, this instrument may be suitable where novel experiments are envisaged or where budgets are tight. Although intended primarily for the lab, these instruments have also enjoyed success in the field.

The New 'Series II' High Performance Kore PTR-TOF-MS


Configured in an upright rack with a large flight tube for highest mass resolution, this instrument is designed with transportation in mind. Thus it is equally at home in the lab or on field-campaigns. The instrument is fully enclosed by panels, there are robust wheels and lifting eyes are included.

Fast high sensitivity analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds

PTRMS is a soft ionisation method utilising H3O+ ions to transfer protons to all compounds with a higher proton affinity than water. General components in air are not ionised by the hydronium beam, but most volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are ionised by H3O+ with little or no fragmentation. Other molecules such as hydrogen sulphide (H2S), hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and ammonia (NH3) can be detectable by this H3O+ PTRMS method.

Ionisation takes place in a low pressure reactor (0.1 to 2mbar) under dilute conditions i.e. avoiding competition for charge between different analyte molecules, as might happen with API sources. The result is very high sensitivity combined with linearity and simple quantification. The same hardware can also be used with other reagent ions if desired O2+ and NO+ are common choices.

Kore has been developing affordable PTR-TOF-MS instruments for research customers since 2002 when we designed the world's first time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS) to couple to a proton transfer reactor (PTR) for the Department of Chemistry at the University of York. Subsequently the first PTR-TOF-MS instruments were installed at York and Leicester Universities in the UK. Those instruments used the clients' own PTR reactor with radioactive ion sources. After this, we at Kore designed our own high current glow discharge ion source and we also created our own novel proton transfer reactor. This allowed us to offer complete PTR-TOF-MS instruments.

We continue today with our tradition of delivering high performance instruments that are affordable for today's restricted budgets. We keep our prices down by manufacturing in-house all the key components of our TOFMS instruments including the Time-of-flight mass spectrometer and time-to-digital converter electronics. An ongoing R&D program ensures that instrument performance is constantly improving

These instruments offer the highly attractive features of a TOF-MS linked to a PTR system: Real-time, high time resolution and high sensitivity detection of all analyte species in parallel with the additional advantage of allowing data to be retrospectively analysed.


Last updated: 14:16 23/12/2013

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