Office for Technology Commercialization

Improved Ion Mobility Spectrometer for Aerosol Measurement

Technology #20120251

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Image Gallery
Aerosol ParticlesIon Mobility SpectroscopyAerosol Measurement
Chris Hogan, PhD Department of Mechanical Engineering, School of Science and Engineering
Dr. Hogan’s current research involves the design of new instrumentation to produce molecular ions from aerosol nanoparticles and clusters, particle-particle and particle-ion interactions in the gas-phase, high temperature gas-phase synthesis of agglomerated, fractal-like nanoparticles, and the dispersion of fractal agglomerates in liquid suspensions for the preparation of enhanced thermal conductivity nanofluids.
External Link (
Managed By
Kevin Nickels
Technology Licensing Officer 612-625-7289
Patent Protection

US Patent Pending 20150115147

PCT Patent Application PCT/US2013/040926

Improved Analysis of Aerosol Particles

Improvements to drift tube ion spectrometers allow charged particles to be analyzed with increased sensitivity and shorter measurement times. The new configuration uses a different type of detector and unique sample inlet method that allows for detailed analysis and measurement of aerosol particles in samples.

MN-IP Try and Buy
  • Trial period up to 18 months. $5000/6 months.
  • Fee waived if MN operating company or if sponsoring $50,000+ in research.
  • Exclusive license for a $15,000 conversion payment.
  • U.S. patent expenses due upon issuance.
  • 5% Royalty (4% for MN companies) after $1 million in product sales.

** View the Term Sheet **
** Contact Kevin Nickels for specific details. **

Higher Sensitivity Ion Mobility Spectrometer

Ion mobility chambers are used to measure the drag coefficient of charged particles or molecules. There are two types of ion mobility chambers; differential mobility chambers (DMAs) and ion mobility spectrometers (IMS). DMAs, which are generally used in aerosol particle analysis, are limited by low resolution, long measurement times and high gas flow rates. Ion mobility spectrometers do not allow for ambient sampling and have low sensitivity. This invention involves an improved configuration for ion mobility spectrometry which increases sensitivity and allows the analysis of charged species such as aerosols. Potential applications include environmental monitoring for aerosol particles, high throughput screening for active chemicals, vapor uptake measurements for research purposes and detection of explosives, drugs and chemical weapons.


  • Improved instrumentation that is fast, high resolution and allows for ambient sampling.
  • Can sample charged particles.
  • Improved sensitivity allows for the detailed analysis of aerosol samples.