An improved quadrupole mass spectrometer is described. The improvement lies in the substitution of the conventional hot filament electron source with a cold cathode field emitter array which in turn allows operating a small QMS at much high internal pressures then are currently achievable. By eliminating of the hot filament such problems as thermally "cracking" delicate analyte molecules, outgassing a "hot" filament, high power requirements, filament contamination by outgas species, and spurious em fields are avoid all together. In addition, the ability of produce FEAs using well-known and well developed photolithographic techniques, permits building a QMS having multiple redundancies of the ionization source at very low additional cost.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST
This invention was made with Government support under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in this invention.