A particle inlet system comprises a first chamber having a limiting orifice for an incoming gas stream and a micrometer controlled expansion slit. Lateral components of the momentum of the particles are substantially cancelled due to symmetry of the configuration once the laminar flow converges at the expansion slit. The particles and flow into a second chamber, which is maintained at a lower pressure than the first chamber, and then moves into a third chamber including multipole guides for electromagnetically confining the particle. The vertical momentum of the particles descending through the center of the third chamber is minimized as an upward stream of gases reduces the downward momentum of the particles. The translational kinetic energy of the particles is near-zero irrespective of the mass of the particles at an exit opening of the third chamber, which may be advantageously employed to provide enhanced mass resolution in mass spectrometry.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC05-00OR2725 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in this invention.