Bruker to build first 21.0 FT-ICR magnet

Bruker Daltonics has been selected by the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) at Florida State University to design and build the world’s first 21.0 T Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FT-ICR) magnet. The magnet will be designed in collaboration with NHMFL scientists and used in the FT-ICR programme at the lab. The contract for the magnet is valued at over $10 million, the project is funded by the National Science Foundation, and delivery of the magnet is planned for the first half of calendar year 2013.

FT-ICR is the highest resolution mass spectrometry available and is useful in the analysis of extremely complex mixtures, including petroleum, metabolites and for the characterisation of large biological molecules such as proteins. The performance of FT-ICR systems improves with increasing magnetic field, and the highest field systems currently available operate at 15 T, so the 21.0 T system represents a dramatic improvement of 40% in mass resolution, and more than 90% in mass accuracy over currently available systems. The ICR programme at the NHMFL leads the world in instrument and technique development as well as in pursuing novel applications of FT-ICR mass spectrometry.

Professor Alan Marshall of Florida State University and Director of the high field FT-ICR programme at the NHMFL commented: “The delivery of the 21.0 T FT-ICR magnet from Bruker, together with instrumentation developments we have planned, will lead to revolutionary new capabilities in FT-ICR, by significantly extending current upper limits for macromolecular weight, as well as chemical complexity. We are confident in Bruker’s ability to build and deliver this first-in-class magnet, and look forward to working with their team of experts on the design of the FT-ICR system for use with the magnet.”

Dr Chris Hendrickson, Director of Instrumentation for the high field FT-ICR programme, stated: “In addition to important applications in biomedical sciences, we view the study of petroleum as one of the most important applications for the new instrument. As the world’s supply of light sweet crude is exhausted and we turn to heavier sources of crude to meet our energy needs, the feedstock for refineries that produce fuel will become even more complex. To ensure the most efficient processing of these feedstocks into fuel that burns cleanly, an understanding of the nature of the feedstocks at a molecular level will be important. FT-ICR is the only mass spectrometric technique capable of completely resolving all of the molecular components of petroleum. The new 21.0 T FT-ICR system will be an important facility for research that will support the reliable production of clean burning petroleum products in the future.”

Dr Gerhard Roth, the Bruker Corporation Ultra-High Field Magnet Manager, said: “We are extremely pleased and honoured to have been selected to build the world’s first horizontal bore 21.0 T magnet for FT-ICR. While this magnet advances the envelope of current technology, we have a successful track record of delivering systems of similar complexity in order to enable novel science.”

For more information about the High-Field FT-ICR programme at the NHMFL, please visit http://www.magnet.fsu.edu/usershub/scientificdivisions/icr.
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