In the mid 1990’s another novel technology for real-time trace gas analysis has been implemented at the institute of Ion-physics at the University of Innsbruck. Proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry is a chemical ionization method that allows to monitor and quantify trace gas levels in real-time. This compelling new technology was commercialized by our company and has experienced a rapid propagation since. We consider ourselves the world-leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing PTR technology, constantly thriving for better performance and new innovation. “A key advantage of PTR-MS is to see trace concentrations in real-time. Compared to the discrete sample analysis in GC-MS, this is like the step from classical photography to a movie.”, says Dr. Alfons Jordan, one of the inventors of the PTR-MS and a founder of IONICON.
This speed in analysis of PTR-MS has been further boosted a few years ago with the introduction of time-of-flight based systems. These IONICON PTR-TOF systems analyse the full spectrum in a split second with a high mass resolution that allows separating and identify isobaric compounds (compounds with the same nominal mass, but different chemical composition). Nevertheless, the separation of isomeric compounds (compounds with the same chemical composition) has remained an advantage of GC-MS. Although this is possible in PTR-MS by selecting different pre-cursor ions (SRI), the resulting spectra can easily become too complex for rich samples.