FSU receives major NSF grant to advance chemical analysis

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.</p>

<p>An early design schematic for the 21-tesla magnet system</p>

<p>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.</p>

<p>“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.</p>

<p>The magnet system will be housed in the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory’s Ion Cyclotron Resonance (ICR) facilityand 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.</p>

<p>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...


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