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Frequently Asked Questions

We get many questions from customers to aid them in the use of their instruments. We will publish these questions and answers here to aid other instrument users. We welcome both your questions and answers to problems that you have encountered. In addition we welcome additional or corrective comments to any of our questions.

Question - The spectrum of my mass spectrometer has poor resolution and low sensitivity. It is a magnetic sector instrument with diffusion pumps. We changed the source, filament and multiplier but the problem persists. What else can cause the loss of resolution?

Answer:. The loss of both sensitivity and resolution in magnetic sector instruments is normally due to poor vacuum in the source. Check for vacuum leaks, a failed rough pump or an inoperative diffusion pump. Make sure the diffusion pump heater is working.

Question - Where can I get thoria coated iridium filaments.

Answer: We at SIS cannot currently repair these filaments. Apparently one of the by-products from these filaments is Radon. Here in the northeast this is a 'dirty' work and presents problems with both our staff as well as the local community. The only place that we know of that might be able to make these is Electron Technology here in New Jersey. However, by law, these filaments cannot be shipped via UPS and require special handling. We would welcome addition input on the manufacture and handling of these filaments.