The apparatus and method provide an improved technique for detecting ions as the area from which ions are attracted to a detector is increased, consequently increasing the number of ions detected. This is achieved by providing the outer electrodes of the detector connected to the electrical potential, together with alternate intermediate electrodes. The other intermediate electrodes and preferably the housing are grounded. The technique renders such detection techniques more sensitive and gives them a lower threshold at which they can function.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The U.S. Government has a paid-up license in this invention and the right in limited circumstances to require the patent owner to license others on reasonable terms as provided for by the terms of CRADA No. LA96C10298 and Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy.