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Categories of exhibits

Rapid heat insertion probe

Exhibit no. 743

In mass spectrometry, the sample must first be introduced into the ion source. The direct insertion probe (DIP) is used to introduce low vapor pressure liquids and solids into EI/CI sources or other types of ion sources. The sample is loaded into a short capillary tube or crucible (either glass or stainless steel) at the end of a heated shaft. The shaft is then inserted through a vacuum lock into the ion source. The combination of heat and low pressure allows many compounds to enter the gas phase where they can be ionized.

The exhibit is a rapid heat insertion probe from the ZAB-EQ sector mass spectrometer manufactured by VG Analytical Ltd. in 1986. The probe consists of a handle, shaft and guide rod. A piece of glass capillary with the sample was inserted into the tip of the probe. The probe has a heater and thermocouple running the length of the shaft and terminating close to the tip. A fine stainless steel capillary placed close to the heater/thermocouple assembly carried a continuous flow of cooling water. Water was supplied from a pair of 'quick mate' bulkhead couplings and a silicone rubber tube.  A two-stage vacuum lock constructed around a Hoke 5/16“ ball valve was used for inserting the probe into the spectrometer.

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