Bruker DART Mass Spectrometer Source Mass Spectrometer

Cambridge Scientific ID: 27976 Category: Tag:


Direct Analysis in Real Time is a rapid and efficient ionization for mass spectrometry for measuring a wide range of analystes-solids, liquid and gases – in their native form, including many that don’t ionize well with other methods. Add it to an existing mass spectrometry system to ramp up versatility and throughput or invest in a fully integrated DART-MS solution.

DART-MS can detect chemicals ranging from pesticides to pharmaceuticals on surfaces as varied as concrete, human skin and currency. Operating at ambient pressure it can be used in the lab or in the field to identify samples and get answers, when and where required. Productivity is high thanks to a simple workflow with no requirement for sample prep. Analyze a single sample in seconds or a 384 well plate in less than 25 minutes. These compelling capabilities bring value across multiple industries, at the point of need, with considerable flexibility to customize DART ionization and interface to optimize set-ups for specific applications. 

Analysis by DART-MS relies on a gas-phase ionization mechanism. DART sources generate excited-state species in a heated gas stream that initiate a cascade of gas-phase reactions upon release. The resulting reagent ions chemically ionize analytes present near the inlet of the mass spectrometer with elevated temperature promoting sample desorption. DART ionization processes can generate positive or negative ions.

Inside the DART source a corona discharge converts flowing inert gas into plasma. Electrostatic lenses remove ions and electrons from the plasma leaving only long-lived electronically or vibronically excited atoms and molecules. Key features of the DART source include:

  • A grid at the exit to prevent ion-electron recombination and acts as an electron source for negative-ion formation
  • A heater coil to increase the temperature of the gas as it travels towards the exit orifice of the source
  • An insulator cap to prevent exposure to high voltage outside the plasma chamber

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