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World’s Highest Field 21 Tesla Magnet Installed

Published: Monday, June 16, 2014
Last Updated: Monday, June 16, 2014
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The FT-ICR Mass Spectrometry magnet has been installed at National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL).

Bruker Corporation and the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University today announced the successful installation of the world’s first 21 Tesla (T) magnet for Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance (FT-ICR).  The installation represents the world’s highest field, persistent, superconducting magnet suitable for FT-ICR mass spectrometry, which is also often referred to as FTMS. The 21T magnet was designed and built by Bruker in collaboration with NHMFL scientists, and will be used in the NHMFL FT-ICR program in a project funded by the National Science Foundation, which makes cutting edge FT-ICR technologies available to the larger community of scientists.

FT-ICR is by far the highest resolution mass spectrometry technique available, and is useful in the analysis of extremely complex mixtures, including applications in petroleomics, dissolved organic matter (DOM), metabolomics, top-down proteomics, and MALDI imaging.  The performance of FT-ICR systems improves with increasing magnetic field, and the 21T magnet is expected to enable further dramatic improvements in mass resolution, mass accuracy and dynamic range compared to the previous highest field of 15T.  The ICR Program at the NHMFL is a world leader in instrument and technique development, as well as the pursuit for novel applications of FT-ICR mass spectrometry.  

Professor Alan Marshall, the Robert O. Lawton Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State University and Director of the High Field FT-ICR program at the NHMFL, commented: “We are delighted to report that the 21T Bruker magnet is at full field.  The other subsystems of the 21T FT-ICR mass spectrometer have been designed and are currently being assembled, for availability targeted for early fall of 2014.”

Professor Marshall added: “Three primary science drivers for this instrument are:  (a) faster throughput without loss of mass resolution for top-down proteomics; (b) extension of the size and complexity of protein complexes whose contact surfaces are mapped by solution-phase hydrogen/deuterium exchange, and (c) improved mass resolution and dynamic range for characterizing compositionally complex organic mixtures (petroleum, dissolved organic matter, metabolome).  The higher magnetic field should result in dramatic improvement (by factors of 40-100%) in FT-ICR MS figures of merit, including mass resolution and resolving power, mass accuracy, dynamic range, and data acquisition speed.”

The 21 T magnet design offers a 110 mm room temperature horizontal bore, with fringe field profiles and room temperature bore access optimized for FT-ICR MS.  It includes many design features pioneered by Bruker, including operation at ~2 Kelvin by use of Bruker’s unique UltraStabilized™ sub-cooling technology, the UltraShield™ technology to reduce stray fields, as well as novel active magnet refrigeration technology that virtually eliminates cryogen refills and user maintenance of the magnet.  In addition to FTMS, the 21T magnet is also suitable for ultra-high field preclinical MRI for highest sensitivity and resolution in mouse neuroimaging.

Dr. Gerhard Roth, the Bruker Ultra-High Field Magnet Manager, said: “The 21T FT-ICR magnet is based on the wealth of experience gathered in ultra-high field magnet technology for NMR and for MRI magnets.  Bruker is extremely pleased to supply this cutting-edge 21T magnet to enable new scientific research directions in ultra-high field FT-ICR mass spectrometry.”

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