The world's leading PTR-MS company

Ultra-Sensitive Real-Time Trace Gas Analyzers  •  Modular TOF-MS for Research & OEM


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Company History

Corporate Milestones

IONICON was founded on July 14, 1998 with one employee and the sale of one PTR-MS.
In 2018 we reached a historic milestone and celebrated our 20th anniversary thanks to the trust and support of our customers.

The First Decade 1998 - 2008


Before 1998 - First Steps

In 1981, a SIFDT (Selected Ion Flow Drift Tube), the predecessor of PTR-MS, was constructed in the laboratories of the Institute of Ion Physics at the University of Innsbruck, Austria.

In 1995, Prof. Werner Lindinger and coworkers at the Institute developed the first laboratory-style PTR-MS (Proton Transfer Reaction – Mass Spectrometer).

1998 - IONICON was founded

In 1998, several engaged scientists headed by Prof. Werner Lindinger and Prof. Tilmann Märk founded Ionicon Analytik GmbH with the purpose of making PTR-MS commercially available to the academic community.
It all began with one part-time employee and the sale of the first PTR-MS.


Soon three leading institutions realized the potential of PTR-MS and invested in this novel and unique technology already in 1999. We even built the first custom PTR-MS for use aboard a research aircraft.
Only one year later, in 2000, the number of instruments sold was doubled.

2001 - Stroke of Fate

The year 2001 was a dramatic turning point for the company: Prof. Werner Lindinger tragically died in an accident. Prof. Tilmann Märk stepped in to take over as CEO.
In the same year, IONICON doubled its sales turnover again and provided more than 10 instruments to scientists sharing Prof. Lindinger’s vision.

2002 - Web Relaunch

From the first days onwards IONICON was present in the world wide web. In 2002 the website was completely redesigned and since this release, customers have the possibility to log in to a dedicated support area. An approach to a first corporate design was implemented at the same time.

2003 - New Products

Success and feedback from customers triggered the development of the first High-Sensitivity PTR-MS and the Compact PTR-MS. With the first High-Sensitivity PTR-MS instruments, atmospheric VOC real-time monitoring in the low-level pptv-range was made possible for the first time.

The Institute of Ion Physics together with IONICON convened the first International PTR-MS Conference, a starting point for the successful biennial events series.

2004 - IONIMED was founded

Ionimed Analytik GmbH was founded as a subsidiary company to focus on PTR-MS applications in medical and biotechnological research (we merged both companies in 2013 and since then also offer complementary trace calibration devices, ISO/IEC 60601 certified breath gas samplers and other highlights).
In 2004, IONICON sold more than 15 instruments and moved to a new and larger office building at the technical campus of the University of Innsbruck.

2005 - 3rd Generation PTR-MS

The third evolution of PTR-MS instruments, being the first revision of our High-Sensitivity PTR-MS, was launched. Fully software-controlled, improved overall performance and other major developments such as an online detection down to 5 pptv made this system the top-selling PTR-MS at that time.

2006 - We changed our Face

With a new corporate design, new brochures, a new website featuring easily accessible information as well as more online support and a dedicated mission committed to our customers, the very successful spin-off company started to present itself in a new and professional manner.

2007 - Diversification and Success

The first PTR-TOF-MS was launched and the first automated industrial VOC monitoring solution was sold. For the first time ever we sold more than 20 instruments in a year and increased our staff to 10 full-time employees.

2008 - 10th Anniversary

The year was dedicated to celebrate but also to innovate: we were able to provide key research facilities all over the world with our new PTR-TOF 8000 instruments, a revolution in online mass spectrometry.


The Second Decade 2008 - 2018

2008 - 10th Anniversary

The year was dedicated to celebrate but also to innovate: we were able to provide key research facilities all over the world with our new PTR-TOF 8000 instruments, a revolution in online mass spectrometry.

2009 - Breaking the Record

In 2009 we launched SRI (Switchable Reagent Ions) very successfully, reached for the first time ever a sub-pptv detection limit (ppqv-range) with an off-the-shelve PTR-MS instrument and invested in our product portfolio presenting a very attractive second PTR-TOFMS series instrument to the market, the PTR-TOF 2000.

2010 - A new headquarter and a new instrument

Our growth over the last decade continued and again we neede more office and production space. At the beginning of 2010 IONICON and IONIMED moved to a new location where we since then occupy more than double the space than before. In 2010 we launched the new PTR-QMS 300 industrial VOC monitoring system and once again broke our sales turnover record.

2011 - A new generation of ultra-sensitive PTR-MS instruments

We launched the 4th generation of our PTR-MS evolution succeeding the world's bestselling PTR-MS series. The PTR-QMS 500 series is now the benchmark for ultra low detection limits in quadrupole based PTR-MS systems.
Mag. Lukas Märk was appointed CEO of the company.

2012 - Universal Trace Gas Analysis thanks to SRI+

A new decade in analytical instrumentation from IONICON became avaible in 2012. Inspired by the success with Selective Reagent Ionization - Mass Spectrometry using O2+ and NO+ for ionization, SRI+ was introduced now featuring Kr+ as reagent ion. Nearly all volatile substances since then can be detected with a single IONICON mass spectrometer.

2013 - 15 years of PTR-MS Community and Success

Founded in 1998 with the sale of our first instrument and one employee, IONICON became the world's leading PTR-MS company. Our success and growth was only possible because of you, the PTR-MS community who contributed, supported and made us striving for excellence every single day since July 14, 1998. On this very day, 15 years later, we would like to say: "thank you"!
We did not only celebrate though, launching a new website - the one you are on now - and once again breaking a turnover record keeps a company busy :-)

2014 - Year of New Product Launches

Our investments in and focus on R&D during the last couple of years culminated in the PTR-TOF 1000 - our smallest, most lightweight and also most affordable PTR-TOF system - the first instrument based on our own time-of-flight mass spectrometer, developed and produced by IONICON. We also introduced the PTR-QiTOF, at that time, our flagship PTR-TOF instrument.

2015 - A New Dimension and Multiple Awards

The fastGC for our PTR-TOFMS series was launched: fast chemical pre-separation with the new fastGC add-on for ultra-fast chemical pre-separation in combination with real-time trace gas analysis. The novelty and benefits of the fastGC convinced two award juries and won it the "Golden Gas Award" as well as "The Analytical Scientist Innovation Award" 2015. We say: "thank you" for these accolades and for an all-time high sales turnover that confirm our constant striving for excellence!

2016 - A historic milestone: we sold PTR-MS No. 300

In September 2016 we shipped the 300th PTR-MS to its new owner. We are proud of this achievement and grateful to those who went a part of the way together with us, from the first PTR-MS in back 1998 until the 300th PTR-MS.

In 2016 we also introduced the revolutionary ION-BOOSTER funnel technology together with the new PTR-TOF 1000 ultra and presented our autosampler. Finally, we also launched the new PTR-TOF 4000 with the new hexapole ION-GUIDE.

2017 - Award winning product launch and the ioniTOF breakthrough

After two years of double-digit growth in sales, in spring 2017 we launched our new flagship PTR-TOF 6000 X2 instrument. As a milestone in our history, all new IONICON instruments now exclusively rely on the ioniTOF - our new modular time-of-flight platform for research and OEM products. We are now a full scale mass spectrometry provider and many upcoming product developments are centrered around ioniTOF. In fall we presented CHARON - the 2017 innovation award winning revolution in real-time aerosol analysis with PTR-TOFMS.

2018 - Our 20th Anniversary

In early summer 2018 we got together celebrating an incredible success story which started with the sale of the first PTR-MS back in 1998: 20 Years IONICON - The World's Leading PTR-MS Company.

2018 was not even half done, but we already scored the second award for CHARON-PTR-TOFMS - the LABORPRAXIS application award 2018 - and launched the new "ioni" APi-TOF, for which we received the 2018 Analytical Scientist Innovation Award at the end of 2018.


2019 and beyond...

2019 - Breaking all Records

It all started with increasing the performance of our PTR-TOF 4000 & 6000 series, the introduction of the proprietary SRI reagent ion NH4+, launch of the new EVR drift tube and ended with a record number in instrument sales within 2019. More than ever we served industrial air monitoring solutions customers. Given our success we’re glad to have attracted many new colleagues, growing our team substantially and we added another office floor to our headquarter in Innsbruck.