Design and test of magnetic shields for quadrupole mass spectrometers

G. Gervasini, M. De Angeli, G. Gittini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)


The use of quadrupole mass spectrometers in plasma experiments with magnetic field confinement presents troublesome problems because of the presence of static magnetic fields. In mass spectrometers, the Lorentz force associated with the magnetic field deflects the ion trajectory in the analyzer section with a subsequent loss of instrument sensitivity. In order to reduce the effect of the externally applied magnetic field in the quadrupole, different magnetic materials have been considered as a shielding structure (iron Fe-37, soft iron Armco, Amumetal sheets). The present work describes a solution to shielding quadrupole mass spectrometers against strong magnetic fields giving an introduction to magnetic shield design, by means of finite element calculations, taking into account many factors such as the material used, the length and thickness of the shield, and the effects of openings. To prove the efficiency of the shielding system, the hydrogen signal from the quadrupole instrument has been monitored. The intensity and the direction of the magnetic field with respect to the quadrupole head axes have been varied. Measurements of the magnetic field have been made in order to validate the calculations and an example of application of the shield design guidelines to a magnetic confined plasma device is presented and tested in situ. The principal aim of the present work is to indicate a possible approach to the problem and how to obtain a practical solution with a worthy compromise between costs and performances. © 2007 American Vacuum Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269 - 274
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Vacuum Science and Technology A: Vacuum, Surfaces and Films
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces and Interfaces
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films

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