(most pages are English only)

Kore Technology News

October 2015
SDL acquires majority stake in Kore
July 2014
Add-on TOF-SIMS
October 2013
Fast thermal desorber coupled to PTR-TOF-MS
September 2013
Kore Technology Ltd - 21st anniversary!
September 2013
PREFICS - Pre concentrator with Fast Integrated Chromatographic Separation
May 2013
Aircraft ready PTR-TOF-MS
April 2013
Combustion Research
January 2013
SurfaceSeer
December 2012
Photolysis Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer (TOF-MS) for Gas-Phase Kinetic Studies of Neutral Molecules delivered To Leeds University
October 2012
TOF-MS for plasma-ion mass and energy characterisation at ITER.
December 2011
Inverted in-line Time-of-flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer.
October 2011
Affordable rack-mounted High mass resolution and sensitivity PTR-TOF-MS.
October 2011
High mass resolution TOF-MS for process gas analysis.
September 2011
Real-time breath analysis installed at Leicester hospital.
December 2010
SurfaceSeer TOF-SIMS
January 2010
New 4GHz time-to-digital converter (TDC) product
October 2009
SurfaceSeer TOF-SIMS
October 2009
A PTR-TOF-MS instrument for real-time high sensitivity breath analysis
September 2009
R-500 TOF-SIMS for custom build SIMS
August 2009
Indian Atomic Energy Research Centre takes delivery of Kore custom TOF-SIMS
July 2009
Mini TOF-MS for molecular beam characterisation
June 2009
A PTR-TOF-MS for real-time monitoring of a photolysis cell/FAGE cell combination
June 2009
Refurbishing older surface analysis instruments
December 2008
Kore delivers Add-on TOF-MS for gas kinetics studies
December 2008
Kore delivers fast and sensitive gas analyser
October 2008
Discounts on Aptech LaB6/CeBix™ e-beam cathode rebuilds
April 2008
Kore delivers Glow Discharge TOF-MS
Older News
 

October 2015: SDL acquires majority stake in Kore

The Chinese company, Beijing SDL Technology Co Ltd., is a leading supplier of environmental monitoring and analysis products in China, and has recently sought to add mass spectrometry products and expertise to its already impressive portfolio. Consequently, we are pleased to announce that SDL has now acquired a majority shareholding in Kore.

SDL will sell and support Kore's mass spectrometer products in China alongside their extensive range of environmental and process analysers, with Kore continuing to manufacture, sell and support our products in the rest of the world.

As part of this new cooperation, Kore will establish an R&D centre for mass spectrometry at our premises in the UK to support SDL's future needs. Kore has never been a 'one-technique' company, and over the years has designed and manufactured instruments based on multiple techniques. Therefore, the R&D centre will be continue in the development of all aspects of mass spectrometry instrumentation, from software through to ion sources, mass analysers and detector systems. In addition, SDL will establish an applications centre for Kore mass spectrometry products at its premises in China to provide its renowned technical support to Chinese mass spectrometer customers.

We have already been commissioned by SDL to design some new and exciting mass spectrometer products, and we will be announcing these soon.

July 2014: Add-on TOF-SIMS

Kore is pleased to announce the latest of Kore's innovations in surface analysis: our add-on TOF-SIMS with the analytical power of high mass resolution spectrometry of the sample surface, and yet at a very affordable price.

October 2013: Fast thermal desorber coupled to PTR-TOF-MS

Kore is pleased to announce the availability of a rapid thermal desorption unit that can be fitted to any in-line detection system. This is a spin-off from our PREFICS project - the swab desorber is one of three sample inlet systems that we have developed for that stand-alone 'front end' separator. The swab desorber uses conventional swabs (as used throughout the security industry). It rapidly desorbs material at temperatures from 50 to 200°C (set in software) into a flow of gas that passes on into the client detection system. We have tested the swab desorber in conjunction with one of our PTR-TOF-MS instruments, and see sensitive detection of semi-volatiles (TNT) in under 10s.

September 2013: Kore Technology Ltd - 21st anniversary!

This year is our 21st anniversary. During this time we have delivered over 200 instruments to researchers all over the world and would like to thank our customers for their continued support.

September 2013: PREFICS - Pre concentrator with Fast Integrated Chromatographic Separation

Kore is pleased to announce PREFICS. We have been developing fast chromatographic separation/interface technology for key mass spectrometry products, with an emphasis on high sensitivity, high specificity and versatile sample introduction for real-world samples. Analyte is first flushed from one of various quick-swap inlet modules onto a thermoelectrically cooled trap. This allows subsequent splitless introduction onto a short GC column in a custom designed, miniature and fast oven. A typical semi-volatile analysis, including pre-concentration and chromatography might typically take just five minutes, yielding detection limits in the picogram range.

May 2013: Aircraft ready PTR-TOF-MS

We received an order in late 2012 from the University of Paris-East, France for PTR-TOF-MS instrumentation that could be used in the laboratory as well as flown on research aircraft for airborne studies. This instrumentation will be used in their research on the chemistry of atmospheric secondary organic aerosol (SOA). SOA is formed in the atmosphere when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted from plants, animals and human activities are oxidised in the air to form less volatile products that subsequently partition into aerosol particles. Once in particles, these organic compounds can undergo further chemical reactions to form a large fraction of atmospheric aerosol mass that can have significant effects on atmospheric chemistry, visibility, human health, and climate.

The French laboratory has constructed an atmospheric chamber, so that it can simulate various gas and particulate environments. Our PTR-TOF-MS instrumentation will be connected to their simulation chamber and be used for the continuous measurement of gas evolution of a wide variety of organic species at the ppt level. In addition we have reduced the weight of the instrument and made its dimensions compatible with the French researcher´s aircraft to allow SOA airborne studies to be conducted.

April 2013: Combustion Research

We are building a number of high-mass resolution TOF-MS instruments that will be used in combustion research.

For example we are supplying an orthogonal TOF-MS System Coupled to a Molecular Beam Instrument at the Combustion and Pyrolysis Chemistry (CPC) Clean Combustion Research Centre (CCRC) KAUST, Saudi Arabia. This will be used to study flames and plasmas. KAUST has an interest in having a high-mass resolution capability for unambiguous separation and identification of species having the same nominal mass.

The Research Centre for Energy (RCE) at the University of Newcastle, Australia focuses on four main areas of research: Low emission coal, renewable energy systems, transportation fuels and energy conversion and energy and the environment. RCE will be getting one of our high-mass resolution TOF-MS instruments to use as a fast and accurate mass analyser for analysing evolved gases as a function of time from their energy research. We will be supplying an instrument similar to the high-mass resolution TOF-MS Instrument for process gas analysis at atmospheric pressures that we shipped previously to CSIRO in Australia.

January 2013: SurfaceSeer

We have delivered a number of our SurfaceSeer affordable TOF-SIMS instruments in 2012 and early 2013.

Our materials analysis instruments do not compete with the $1m plus high performance SIMS instruments that are aimed primarily at the microelectronics industries and 'high end' university research. However, for lots of customers with limited budgets our SurfaceSeer instruments provide more than enough performance for their requirements in quality control and research to, for example, analyse a material's surface chemistry when coating with thin films, printing or bonding. In addition the modular nature of SurfaceSeer means that it can be supplied with a choice of primary ion guns, including focussed liquid metal ion guns. This allows a high spatial resolution imaging TOF-SIMS to be delivered at prices still substantially below that of other commercially available high performance imaging TOF-SIMS instruments.

Apart from SurfaceSeer TOF-SIMS instruments, we still build add-on TOF-SIMS modules for researchers around the world. For example we are building such a TOF-MS module for the Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) in Brazil. UFRGS will use a tandem accelerator to produce MeV range ion beams, and require a SIMS time of flight mass spectrometer with control and detection electronics and software to conduct TOF-SIMS studies in their accelerator.

December 2012: Photolysis Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer (TOF-MS) for Gas-Phase Kinetic Studies of Neutral Molecules delivered To Leeds University

We are pleased to have sold a new TOF-MS to the department of atmospheric science at the University of Leeds. This will be used for fundamental atmospheric gas-phase kinetic studies of neutral molecules.

The Time of Flight Mass Spectrometer (TOF-MS) is interfaced to a fast flow tube for studying reaction kinetics in the gas phase. There are two flow regimes that the system samples, each operating at a temperature range of 90 to 400K. The first flow regime operates at a pressure of 1 to 5 mbar. The second flow regime works over a range of up to 200 mbar. This arrangement requires a differentially pumped front-end to reduce the sampled gas pressure before being sampled into the high vacuum chamber of the TOF-MS.

The instrument system has a controllable electron impact ionisation source and also allows pulsed vacuum ultra violet (VUV) laser light to be used as an ionisation source.

October 2012: Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer for plasma ion mass and energy characterisation at ITER.

We are pleased to have supplied the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute, High Temperature Plasma Physics Lab in St. Petersburg, Russia with an orthogonal TOF-MS for the customer to characterise their development of a RF plasma ion source. This Russian group develops mirrors for Thompson scattering diagnostics that will be used at ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor). The international nuclear fusion research and engineering project in France. These mirrors are located in an area that is subjected to a high concentration of contaminants resulting in deposition induced loss of mirror reflectivity. Therefore protective cleaning techniques such as plasma ion sources need to be developed.

The Kore TOFMS is being used to not only measure the relative intensities of positive ions of different masses as they emerge from the ion source but also the energy spread of these ions which typically range from 1-150eV. An electron impact source was also provided on the inlet of the mass spectrometer to permit ionisation and subsequent characterisation of neutral species in the plasma chamber.

December 2011: Inverted in-line Time-of-flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer.

We are pleased to be delivering an Inverted Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer based upon our SurfaceSeer TOF-SIMS to the University of Kaliningrad in Russia.

The Kore TOF-SIMS will be connected via sample transfer systems, supplied by Cryosystems inc., to the customer's Pulsed Laser Deposition system, Atomic layer Deposition system and Atomic Force Microscope.

The "open-architecture" design of the SurfaceSeer allowed the Kore TOF-SIMS to be inverted with the TOFMS below the sample. Inverting the TOF-SIMS means the sample can be in the same orientation - that is up-side down - as required for the deposition systems. This allows a sample to be readily transferred under vacuum between all the instruments. Ensuring that sample preparation and analysis can all be completed under vacuum.

October 2011: Affordable rack-mounted High mass resolution and sensitivity PTR-TOF-MS.

Kore has now finished a series of new design and R&D developments that has resulted in greatly improved sensitivity and mass resolution for chemical speciation and also transportability for 'field campaigns' in our PTR-TOF-MS instruments. We are now building these rack-mounted instruments for delivery to two French Institutes for continuation of their research programmes in atmospheric chemistry.

The base price of these instruments is ~£150k (~€176k) and so we continue with our tradition of delivering high performance instruments that are affordable for today's restricted budgets. We keep our prices down by manufacturing in-house all the key components of our TOF-MS instruments including the Time-of-flight mass spectrometer and time-to-digital converter electronics.

October 2011: High mass resolution TOF-MS for process gas analysis.

We are pleased to be delivering a high mass resolution (>5000 M/δM FWHM) TOF-MS instrument for analytical analysis of process gases to Steve Wright of CSIRO Process Science and Engineering Laboratories in Australia.

The main role of the mass spectrometer is to analyse the components in gases from furnaces in which combustion or pyrolysis reactions are occurring as part of CSIRO´s high temperature processing program. This requires a mass spectrometer that can quantitatively analyse process gases as well as identify and analyse volatile organic compounds(VOCs) that originate from the pyrolysis of biomass. Thus Kore provided a dual inlet system to the TOF-MS comprising a heated capillary inlet system for the process gases and a permeable membrane concentrator inlet assembly for the VOCs.

High mass resolution was required to resolve process gases such as CO, CO2, N2, H2S and N2O as distinct peaks in the presence of other combustion gases.

The rack-mounted instrument is designed for easy and safe transportation between different sites. It is housed in a purpose- designed vertical rack to permit easy transportation in a standard van. The instrument is floated inside the frame so that it is cushioned during transportation.

September 2011: Kore's high sensitivity PTR-TOF-MS instrument for real-time high sensitivity breath analysis installed at Leicester hospital.

We are pleased to announce that the Kore high sensitivity PTR- TOF-MS instrument delivered to Professor Paul Monks of the Atmospheric Chemistry Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Leicester has been installed in a futuristic sick bay - the only one of its kind in the world - at Leicester Royal Infirmary's accident and emergency department and will be used from next month.

The Kore high sensitivity PTR-TOF-MS is one of the instruments in this non- invasive disease detection facility, developed by Leicester University. The disease detection facility is designed to detect the "sight, smell and feel" of disease without the use of invasive probes, blood tests, or other time- consuming and uncomfortable procedures. Professor Tim Coates describes the concept in the short video below:

Diagnostic Development Unit (DDU) University of Leicester YouTube Video

December 2010: SurfaceSeer TOF-SIMS

During 2010 we received an order for a SurfaceSeer TOF-SIMS from the Experimental Techniques Centre at Brunel University in the UK. ETCbrunel is a highly regarded consultancy and research Centre for engineering, forensic and environmental investigations. ETCbrunel wanted to acquire a new Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometer (SIMS) to enable surface chemical imaging of materials across disciplines, including engineering, forensics and biosciences. The customer, Dr. Robert Bulpett, at ETCbrunel, wanted to achieve the high spatial and mass resolution obtainable by substituting a pulsed Liquid Metal Ion Gun (LMIG) for the Gas gun usually used in the SurfaceSeer. However like most research institutes nowadays his budget was limited. Even though the SurfaceSeer is substantially cheaper than available top-of-the-range surface chemical imaging TOF-SIMS systems, adding a new LMIG would substantially increase the total system price.  So we located and installed a pulsed LMIG, which was now surplus to requirements at another university, to deliver a system that met Brunel's high performance, but limited budget requirements.

The chemical imaging SurfaceSeer, was delivered and installed at the end of 2010.

January 2010: New 4GHz time-to-digital converter (TDC) product

Kore is pleased to announce our new 4GHz time-to-digital converter (TDC) product for 2010. This timing unit with 250ps capability is the product of a three year development programme and replaces our older 2ns TDC. The new TDC will feature in all future Kore products for time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

October 2009: SurfaceSeer TOF-SIMS

We are pleased to announce an order from the University of Birmingham in the UK for our SurfaceSeer TOF-SIMS. The research group of Prof. Jon Preece in the School of Chemistry is dedicated to the interdisciplinary nature of nanoscale chemistry. The group is focused on a number of areas: nanostructuring surfaces via the integration of top-down and bottom-up methodologies, gene delivery based on polycations, nanotribology, liquid crystals and nanoscale electronics.

Kore will deliver our SurfaceSeer TOF-SIMS to permit the group to characterise the surfaces of their materials using static TOF-SIMS. The driving force behind the design of the SurfaceSeer instrument is ease-of-use and speed of data acquisition for the non-SIMS expert. The Birmingham researchers have identified TOF-SIMS as a powerful tool to elucidate the surface chemistry of their samples.

October 2009: A PTR-TOF-MS instrument for real-time high sensitivity breath analysis

We are pleased to have received an order for a compact high sensitivity PTR-TOF-MS from Professor Paul Monks of the Atmospheric Chemistry Group, Department of Chemistry, University of Leicester.

The University of Leicester wishes to deploy novel non-invasive medical diagnostic technologies for the rapid, 'real-time' and integrated evaluation of acutely ill patients, within their local hospital's Accident and Emergency department. The initial targets will be infectious diseases but it is envisaged that an extension be made to cover many critical decision points, which will facilitate the management of possible drug toxicity, myocardial infarction and other life threatening conditions. As part of this facility a gas phase breath analysis mass spectrometry system needed to be procured. The system envisaged is a proton transfer reaction time-of-flight mass spectrometer (PTR-MS). The requirement is to make real-time (ca. 1s) high sensitivity measurements of the volatile organic compounds on breath.

September 2009: R-500 TOF-SIMS for custom build SIMS

Kore continues its long-established tradition of providing flexible tools for SIMS research. We are pleased to announce an order from Samsung Electro-Mechanics in Korea for a variation on our R-500-8 TOF-SIMS analyser and control electronics.

We are also pleased to announce the first order for our new add-on R-500-6 TOF-SIMS analyser for the Technische Universität Dresden (usually translated as Dresden University of Technology and abbreviated TU Dresden). The R-500-6 is smaller than the R-500-8 and is therefore highly suited as an add-on to existing vacuum chambers and instrumentation.

TU Dresden researchers are investigating ion-solid interactions. They have developed an electron beam ion source providing highly charged ions at 25keV and above. The source is pulsed and has a focused beam spot of around 100nm. The Kore TOF-SIMS analyser will be used to characterise the species liberated from sample surfaces by their new ion beam.

A "turn-key" high performance TOF-SIMS system now is a million dollar purchase, and so it is understandable that cost-conscious researchers with instrument build experience should seek to buy components such as the TOF-SIMS analyser and associated electronics and software from experienced manufacturers like Kore.

Kore provides support and guidance where needed but essentially the researchers build and commission the instrument themselves. This "Do It Yourself" approach leads to a cost-effective route for the researchers to obtain an instrument tailored to their particular requirements.

August 2009: Indian Atomic Energy Research Centre takes delivery of Kore custom TOF-SIMS

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) in Trombay on the outskirts of Mumbai, India is one of the world's leading nuclear power research institutions. BARC was named after Dr. Homi Jehangir Bhabha the "father" of nuclear science research in India.

Although the prime focus at BARC is on nuclear energy research there is also extensive nanotechnology research in fields ranging from energy efficiency to medicine. The Kore TOF-SIMS will be used for the chemical characterisation of surfaces and interfaces in these diverse fields studying multi-layer coatings, polymers, bio-polymers and molecular electronics. For example multi-layer coatings of thin-films such as Titanium and Silicon-Dioxide on glass substrates can increase the reflectivity of halogen lamps thereby reducing the overall power requirements. Study of these films in the Kore TOF-SIMS ultimately can increase the energy efficiency of such lamps. Similarly biomolecules can be characterised using this technique to help pharmaceutical scientists develop medicines.

July 2009: Mini TOF-MS for molecular beam characterisation

We are pleased to have received an order from the prestigious German national metrology institute, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstelt (PTB), for a Kore Mini TOF-MS compact add-on time-of-flight mass spectrometer designed for mass analysis in gas phase experiments.

PTB are conducting experiments using 100% organic molecular beams, and will ionise these using their own focused electron beam. The Kore TOF-MS will extract and inject pulses of ions into the TOF analyser for mass analysis. The Mini TOF-MS uses a differential-pumping aperture to allow ionisation to take place at pressures of up to 10-4mbar, while preserving high vacuum in the mass spectrometer. The system will operate in the digital pulse counting regime, and to that end Kore are also supplying a full data acquisition system with a new high performance 4GHz time-to-digital converter.

We have recently sent similar instruments to CERN in Geneva, a research institute CEILAP in Buenos Aires, and also more recently to M.I.T. in the USA.

The flexible ionisation source arrangement, as well as the ability to accommodate higher pressure conditions, makes the Kore Mini TOF-MS an ideal analyser for studying the kinetics of chemical reactions for climate and atmospheric science, as well as catalysis research and other basic research programmes.

June 2009: A PTR-TOF-MS for real-time monitoring of a photolysis cell/FAGE cell combination

We are pleased to have received an order from Dr. Christa Fittschen at the University of Lille in France for a Kore PTR-TOF-MS. Dr. Fittschen's CNRS Research Group at Lille undertakes kinetic studies of atmospheric chemistry and combustion using laser photolysis and Fluorescence Assay by Gas Expansion (FAGE). For details see their website.

Lille have built a novel mobile instrument, for the absolute quantification of major reactive species in atmospheric chemistry and combustion, based on the very sensitive and selective technique of FAGE. The Kore PTR-TOF-MS will be modified to permit the PTR-TOF-MS to be installed at the exit of the FAGE cell to measure stable reaction species. The PTR instrument can also be quickly converted back to an ambient air analyser.

June 2009: Refurbishing older surface analysis instruments

We have recently refurbished surface analysis instruments for AMTEL (Advanced Mineral Technology Laboratory) in Canada and the University of Kentucky USA. We renovated a Laser Ionisation Mass Analyser (LIMA) for AMTEL. The LIMA instrument was originally built more than 20 years ago by Cambridge Mass Spectrometry Ltd for Pilkington Glass who subsequently needed the space occupied by the LIMA for new surface analysis equipment. This instrument will be added to AMTEL's existing time-of-flight resonance ionisation mass spectrometry (TOF-RIMS) instruments, which are used for the quantitative trace analysis of precious metals in minerals.

The University of Kentucky had obtained a Kratos/CMS PRISM TOF-SIMS from Armco Steel in Cincinnati. As this was a 20 year-old instrument the electronics and PC were outdated. We have supplied our newly developed 4GHz TDC (0.25ns ) and a new data acquisition computer and software to bring a new lease of life to the instrument.

December 2008: Kore delivers Add-on TOF-MS for gas kinetics studies

In December we delivered a TOF-MS to an Argentinian research Institute for use in gas kinetics studies. The Kore Mini TOF-MS will be used for the detection and identification of radicals and reaction intermediates formed in experiments involving laser-induced gas-phase chemical reactions and laser ablation on solid samples followed by radical reactions with acceptor gases.

This compact, add-on TOF-MS is designed for mass analysis in gas-phase laser experiments and uses a differential-pumping aperture to allow ionisation to take place at pressures of up to 10-4 mbar, while preserving high vacuum in the mass spectrometer. For initial experiments where an ionising laser is not available, an electron impact ionisation source has been fitted to ionise neutral atoms and molecules for trace gas detection. In this case the first section of the ion extraction lens is pulsed to provide the ion pulses suitable for the TOF analyser.

The flexible ionisation source arrangement, as well as the ability to analyse reactions in a controlled atmosphere, makes the Kore Mini TOF-MS an ideal analyser for studying the kinetics of chemical reactions for climate and atmospheric science, as well as catalysis research.

December 2008: Kore delivers fast and sensitive gas analyser

During 2008 we installed a Kore Fast Gas Analyser (FGA). The FGA-TOF-MS is a compact bench-top time-of-flight mass analyser providing rapid and sensitive gas analysis for production and research applications.

October 2008: Kore offers Discounts on Aptech LaB6/CeBix™ e-beam cathode rebuilds

Kore is pleased to offer discounts on any orders placed up to the end of 2008 for Aptech LaB6/CeBix™ e-beam lithography and Auger cathode rebuilds.

April 2008: Kore delivers Glow Discharge TOF-MS

In April 2008 we delivered and installed a TOF-MS suitable for coupling to a client's glow discharge ion source. This glow discharge ion source uses a solid sample as the anode, and the plasma erodes the sample, releasing atoms characteristic of the anode surface into the plasma and thence onto the spectrometer for mass measurement. In addition, the variation in signal intensities as a function of glow discharge time can be converted into a concentration depth profile.


Top

Last updated: 14:16 21/12/2015

© Kore Technology Limited 2015