Nikolaev Laboratory


Start date – January 2017

3D-printed, miniaturized Cassinian trap mass spectrometer for space research and general ambient analysis applications.

The goal of the project is the development of the new type of miniature mass spectrometer with high mass resolution, mass determination accuracy and low weight and power consumption primarily for space research applications and for broad application as carryable mass spectrometer for trace analyses of gases and molecular solids.

The approach is based on two new ideas:

1. Analyses of ion masses with Cassini trap type mass analyzer with sample ionization inside the trap.

2. Making Cassini trap electrodes by high special resolution and accuracy 3D printing of conducting surfaces. The obvious benefit of this new approach is the possibility to print miniature mass spectrometry arrays to increase sensitivity of mass analyses and replicability of technology, which makes possible the production of cheap mass analyzers for different applications. The objectives are:
– Supercomputer simulations of electric field distribution in two centers Cassini traps.
– Supercomputer assisted simulation of the electron impact ionization processes inside the Cassini trap. Simulation of ion motion with initial conditions corresponding to the ionization region.

Results/current status
We have transported to the Skoltech a special vacuum camera for the assembly and test of the Cassini trap. Currently we are working on the purchasing of the required electronics.

Potential Impact
Mass spectrometry is one of the most informative and sensitive analytical technique, which is widely used in scientific research for more than 100 years and in Space research since 70th. The mission in 2015 to Churjumov-Gerasimenko comet had four mass spectrometer on board.  Regular mass spectrometer is a complex combination of mass analyzer with ion source and ion detector, sophisticated electronics and data recording system as well as vacuum system, which is the heaviest, the most power consuming and most expansive part of the whole instrument. Many planet satellites and comets does not have atmosphere and their research by mass spectrometers could be greatly simplified. The results of the project will considerably help to achieve this goal.

  • Modification of human serum albumin under induced oxidation. Gorobets M, Wasserman L, Vasilyeva A, Bychkova A, Pronkin P, Bugrova A, Indeykina M, Shilkina N, Konstantinova M, Kononikhin A, Nikolaev E, Rosenfeld MDokl Biochem Biophys. 2017 May ;474(1):231-235. doi: 10.1134/S1607672917030218. Epub 2017 Jul 20.

Research grants/Industry funded research

European Network of Fourier-Transform Ion-Cyclotron-Resonance Mass Spectrometry Centers
Technological platform for parallel structural study of individual molecules in natural organic matrices.

Next Generation Program

3d-Printed, Miniaturized Cassinian Trap Mass Spectrometer for Space Research and General Ambient Analysis Applications

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge

Joint project “3D-printed, miniaturized Cassinian trap mass spectrometer for space research and general ambient analysis applications”

Project Leaders: Evgeny Nikolaev (Skoltech)  and Luis Fernando Velásquez-García (MIT)

Biomedical Mass Spectrometry