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Major magnet grant to advance state-of-the-art in chemical analysis
Date:6/15/2010

The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University is planning to build a state-of-the-art magnet system that will transform the study of complex environmental and biological samples. A better understanding of fossil and biological fuels, for example, could lead to applications for reducing carbon emissions and the development of new, sustainable fuels.

The 21-tesla superconducting magnet, combined with a small cyclotron spectrometer (a machine that measures the mass of molecules), is made possible by a $17.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation's Division of Chemistry, $15 million of which comes from funds made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

"This award pushes the frontier of large molecule analyses and further strengthens our world leadership in ion-cyclotron resonance capabilities," said Kirby Kemper, vice president for Research at Florida State.

The magnet system will be housed in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's Ion Cyclotron Resonance (ICR) facility and will be used for Fourier transform ICR mass spectrometry a powerful analytical technique capable of resolving and identifying thousands of different chemical components simultaneously in complex mixtures.

The addition of a 21-tesla magnet is expected to yield major innovations in the field of chemical analysis. Going from 14.5 to 21 tesla a 45-percent increase in field will increase the accuracy of mass measurements by a factor of at least 2, raising it to an astonishing 50 parts per billion.

"This grant will give us the opportunity to see the chemical and molecular world in unprecedented detail sort of like HDTV compared to ordinary TV," said Alan Marshall, director of the magnet lab's ICR User Program and the Robert O. Lawton Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Florida State. Marshall, who co-invented the FT-ICR technique and continues to develop it, is the princ
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Contact: Alan G. Marshall
marshall@magnet.fsu.edu
850-644-0529
Florida State University
Source:Eurekalert

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