The University of Michigan
Department of Aerospace Engineering
| Plasmadynamics & Electric Propulsion Laboratory |
Plasma Diagnostics

Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer (TOF)

Performs species identification and determines fraction of multiply charged ions.

A Time of Flight Mass Analyzer is a device often used at the end of a Parallel-Plate Energy Analyzer to distinguish between species and ionization states. An electrostatic gate is used to close the entrance to the parallel-plate analyzer to plasma flow. The gate is then opened momentarily (for times on the order of a few microseconds) to allow a puff of ions to travel down the drift tube. Because ions of higher charge travel faster than singly charged ions, they will arrive at different times. This allows the different ion charge states to be examined.

Examples of PEPL diagnostics that use a Parallel-Plate Energy Analyzer coupled with a TOF are the MBMS and ESA.


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