Developing portable mass spectrometry systems is an active area of research due to its broad range of useful applications, including environmental monitoring, threat detection, and space exploration. The mass analyzer is one of the key elements of the mass spectrometry system to develop for a portable system. Ion traps are a good candidate for the mass analyzer in a portable mass spectrometry system because the operating pressure scales with size. This allows for scaling down the other components of the system including the vacuum and electrical systems. Researchers at BYU are making an effort to develop miniature ion traps based on a planar geometry. The ion traps are made using microfabrication processes. A summary of the plates developed at BYU is presented in this work. Results from experiments to test the effects of pitch alignment on one design of planar ion trap plates are also presented. Conventional ion traps use a sinusoidal waveform to drive them. Driving the ion trap with a digital waveform has many benefits including extended mass range, lower voltage, and more control over the waveform. One of the difficulties involved in using a digital waveform is creation of a high voltage, high frequency waveform. This work details the design of a digital circuit capable of outputting a waveform with an amplitude of 100 VP-P at a frequency of 5 MHz and lower. This waveform was applied to a new ion trap design based on wire electrodes instead of planar electrodes. This trap offers many benefits over the planar ion traps developed at BYU. This work presents mass spectra obtained using a square digital waveform applied to the wire ion trap.



College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Electrical and Computer Engineering



Date Submitted


Document Type





Derek Andrews, ion trap, IT