A high-efficiency real-time digital signal averager for time-of-flight mass spectrometry

Wang, Yinan, Xu, Hui, Li, Qingjiang, Li, Nan, Zhengxu, Huang, Zhou, Zhen, Liu, Husheng, Sun, Zhaolin, Yu, Hongqi, Liu, Haijun, Li, David D.-U, Wang, Xi, Dong, Xiuzhen and Gao, Wei (2013) A high-efficiency real-time digital signal averager for time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 27 (10). pp. 1155-1167. ISSN 0951-4198

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Analog-to-digital converter (ADC)-based acquisition systems are widely applied in time-of-flight mass spectrometers (TOFMS) due to their ability to record the signal intensity of all ions within the same pulse. However, the acquisition system raises the requirement for data throughput, along with increasing the conversion rate and resolution of the ADC. It is therefore of considerable interest to develop a high-performance real-time acquisition system, which can relieve the limitation of data throughput.

We present in this work a high-efficiency real-time digital signal averager, consisting of a signal conditioner, a data conversion module and a signal processing module. Two optimization strategies are implemented using field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to enhance the efficiency of the real-time processing. A pipeline procedure is used to reduce the time consumption of the accumulation strategy. To realize continuous data transfer, a high-efficiency transmission strategy is developed, based on a ping-pong procedure.

The digital signal averager features good responsiveness, analog bandwidth and dynamic performance. The optimal effective number of bits reaches 6.7 bits. For a 32 µs record length, the averager can realize 100% efficiency with an extraction frequency below 31.23 kHz by modifying the number of accumulation steps. In unit time, the averager yields superior signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) compared with data accumulation in a computer.

The digital signal averager is combined with a vacuum ultraviolet single-photon ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometer (VUV-SPI-TOFMS). The efficiency of the real-time processing is tested by analyzing the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from ordinary printed materials. In these experiments, 22 kinds of compounds are detected, and the dynamic range exceeds 3 orders of magnitude. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Engineering and Informatics > Engineering and Design
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics > QC0170 Atomic physics. Constitution and properties of matter Including molecular physics, relativity, quantum theory, and solid state physics
Q Science > QC Physics > QC0474 Radiation physics (General)
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering > TK0452 Electric apparatus and materials. Electric circuits. Electric networks
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering > TK7800 Electronics > TK7885 Computer engineering. Computer hardware
Depositing User: David Day-Uei Li
Date Deposited: 18 Apr 2013 13:37
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 07:09
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/44393

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