Kore Technology
Custom TOF-MS

When the instrument you want doesn’t exist.


When the instrument you want doesn’t exist it can be made for you without breaking the bank. This is precisely what Kore has been doing for over two decades now – inventing, building and delivering “Designed for Research” analytical instrumentation at a competitive cost, and typically within a period of 5-8 months.


Many of the big analytical instrument companies now make TOF-based instruments for large markets such as MALDI-TOF and GC-MS. These instruments are designed to satisfy specific analytical requirements, and are undoubtedly good instruments for those purposes. However, when standard instrumentation will not do what a researcher wants, there are very few instrument companies that will consider designing and assembling an instrument at a sensible cost.


When this occurred in the past, the only choice for a research group was to undertake novel instrument development for themselves. This is appropriate in a university when an essential part of the Ph.D. training is in instrument design. However, when a researcher in (say) chemistry is simply trying to harness a new analytical technique to make progress in their research, few research groups have the luxury of taking several years to develop such facilities. Researchers both in universities and industry are now looking for ways to reduce the time it takes to start making measurements so that research can begin.


Most people naturally assume that such research instrumentation will be very expensive compared to related, ‘off the shelf’ products, but this is not the case, due to our Configurable Component Strategy.

Configurable Component Strategy

We aim to meet our clients’ needs for specialised instrumentation and to do so at a competitive cost. How is this possible? Surely such design greatly increases the cost compared to a mass-produced instrument?


Kore Advantages:
  • The key step is that we aim wherever possible to use existing Kore components, or to consider modifications to existing designs. When the majority of the component parts for a new instrument design are in the above two categories, the price can be kept at a sensible level, because the project does not have to fund the development of existing components.
  • The Configurable Component System (CCS) strategy provides you with direct access to our technical staff, many of whom have a research background (Ph.D.s) in addition to their instrument development experience. Our staff can provide the technical bridge between your experimental aims and our extensive range of components and possible instrument configurations.
  • Part of our design philosophy for any new CCS component is to minimise the resource required for subsequent variation and modification. Kore’s engineering team works very closely with the end-user and has detailed knowledge of existing design elements, making it possible to re-use not only whole components, but also design fragments, and again this contributes to reducing costs.
  • Because of the nature of this type of instrument design, it is often the case that each project will require some new design work, and this in turn contributes to the component pool. This means that the number of components available at Kore grows all the time, making it easier to succeed with this concept.
  • Kore has spent years refining the internal systems required for project management, design management and follow-up support in ‘Designed for Research’ instrument sales. The demands are very different from those required to produce standard products.


Take a look at some of the work we’ve done in the past, and some of the components we have designed, below:

Systems – Photolysis TOF-MS

High performance TOF-MS system for gas phase kinetic studies/photolysis experiments.

Systems – Add-on TOF-MS

Our range of add on TOF-MS systems, with or without ion sources, for interfacing to client experiments including gas phase analysis/kinetics and MeV SIMS.

Systems – Custom SIMS

Some examples of our custom TOF-SIMS systems designed to client requirements, including biological and low-cost systems.

Systems – Custom PTR

Some examples of our custom and specially engineered high temperature PTR-MS systems designed to client requirements, such as atmospheric pressure chemical ionisation and our original research instrument.

Systems – other surface techniques
Systems – Plasma diagnostics

An orthogonal TOF-MS for the customer to characterise their development of a RF plasma ion source.

Systems – Special vacuum systems

Kore engineers have over 3 decades of experience in designing, building and testing special ultra-high vacuum systems. Some examples of our custom UHV systems are available here.

Systems – Custom electrostatic optics

This custom projection lens system was designed as an add-on to a large accelerator SIMS to allow the researchers to view the ion beam before injection into the accelerator stage.

Systems – Other custom systems

Customised Kore Technology systems for gas kinetic studies and analysis of gas streams and metal clusters, and compact photolysis TOF-MS.

Components – UHV manipulators

Our range of UHV manipulators for TOF-SIMS and surface preparation, such as cold stages and rotating stages.

Components – TOF-MS optics

Our range of components for client built TOF-MS, including flight tubes and reflectrons.

Components – Ion detection assemblies

Our range of detection assemblies, preamplifiers and preamplifier power supplies.

Components – Data system

Kore is currently using the GRAMS/AI™ software from Thermo Scientific as the ‘engine’ for manipulating and displaying mass spectral data. Kore uses the GRAMS™ software with a Kore graphics user interface which is available for custom mass spectrometry systems.

Components – Power supplies

Kore Technology power supplies are available to purchase for integration into your system. We manufacture various high voltage, bi polar and TOF-MS power supply units.

Components – Cassegrain lens

This all-metal reflecting optics lens was originally designed as a long working distance, in-vacuum, on-axis lens yielding sub-micron diameter spot sizes for laser microprobe mass analysers.

Components – Thermal desorber

The Kore Technology thermal desorber is a compact system for sample desorption for interfacing to mass spectrometers.