Thermal ionization mass spectrometer with labeled components


To use TIMS the sample must be dissolved in acid and the dried out residue loaded onto a filament and then placed in a vacuum chamber. Just like a lightbulb, the filament heats up when electric current is applied. The heated filament then ejects ions (charged particles of isotopes) of the sample. High voltage pulls the ions toward the analyzers through an electromagnet. The ion beam bends from the magnetic force, with heavier isotope ions having straighter paths than lighter ones. The beam of ions can be changed to different isotope masses by changing the electric current to the magnet. The analyzer can then count the number of ions that arrive.