The World's Leading PTR-MS Trace Analyzers Company

Quad vs. TOF

The Analyzer for your Analytical Instrument

Since 1998 IONICON produces and develops PTR-MS instruments. Nowadays nearly all our analytical instruments are based on a TOF-MS. Learn why below and decide what type of detector is the best for your analytical objective:


  • In one scan the entire mass range can be analyzed with an incredibly high-resolution and high-sensitivity.
  • Higher resolutions compared to unit mass resolving power of quadrupole mass filters enhance the separation and identification capabilities.
  • Having the entire spectrum at hand in split-seconds provides much more data in less time, hence more speed for analysis and sensitivity in complex mixtures.
  • Because of the low mass fragmentation of our PTR-ion source, compounds with the same molecular weight appear on the same protonated mass and can hardly be differentiated using a quadrupole mass filter (e.g. Xylene [C8H10] and Benzaldehyde [C7H6O] = 107 amu). With a high-resolution time of flight, compounds with different atomic composition appear on their exact protonated mass (e.g. xylene [C8H10] = 107,0861 amu, benzaldehyde [C7H6O] = 107,0497 amu) and isobaric species can therefore be distinguished.
  • Virtually no instrumental mass range limitation.
  • A novel technology delivering incredible results.
  • Now available in various PTR-TOFMS instruments or as stand-alone ioniTOF for your custom research instrument.
  • the more advanced and much more powerful technology.

If your aim is to go for a state-of-the-art technology with many advantages, complex gas mixtures are of interest and time as well as identification capabilities are crucial, you should decide for the IONICON PTR-TOFMS series.


  • For only a small amount of masses a quadrupole has a satisfactorily speed and delivers a very low detection limit in combination with our PTR-ion source.
  • Smaller amount of data to be analyzed.
  • Well experienced and reliable technology.
  • However, in the meantime our own TOF-MS development and production (ioniTOF) are so advanced, that not only in terms of robustness and reliability, but also when comparing the price tags, our PTR-TOFMS series clearly outperforms PTR-QMS products. Therefore we do not sell PTR-QMS any more.