Welcome to the PImMS website

The PImMS camera

Mass spectrometry is a powerful analytical technique widely used to identify unknown compounds and to elucidate the structure of molecules. The PImMS (Pixel Imaging Mass Spectrometry) project is developing a fast imaging sensor for use in a next-generation time-of-flight mass spectrometer (TOF-MS) with unique imaging capabilities.

Recent progress in semiconductor technologies presents the opportunity to produce a novel detector that will allow marrying of the ion-imaging technique with mass spectrometry. For each mass, the new instrument will image with high precision the complete velocity or spatial distribution of the ions at their point of formation. This will take mass spectrometry from its current role as a one-dimensional "weighing" technique into a multi-dimensional world, in which spatial, velocity, and even coincidence information is provided as a function of mass. The novel pixel detector used in the instrument is based on the deep submicron CMOS process INMAPS, originally developed by STFC-RAL for use at the International Linear Collider.

Click here to watch a video of Mark Brouard and Claire Vallance, two of the PIs working on the PImMS project, presenting an introduction to the camera.