Coded Apertures in Mass Spectrometry.


The use of coded apertures in mass spectrometry can break the trade-off between throughput and resolution that has historically plagued conventional instruments. Despite their very early stage of development, coded apertures have been shown to increase throughput by more than one order of magnitude, with no loss in resolution in a simple 90-degree magnetic sector. This enhanced throughput can increase the signal level with respect to the underlying noise, thereby significantly improving sensitivity to low concentrations of analyte. Simultaneous resolution can be maintained, preventing any decrease in selectivity. Both one- and two-dimensional (2D) codes have been demonstrated. A 2D code can provide increased measurement diversity and therefore improved numerical conditioning of the mass spectrum that is reconstructed from the coded signal. This review discusses the state of development, the applications where coding is expected to provide added value, and the various instrument modifications necessary to implement coded apertures in mass spectrometers.