A Cleaner Source: The StayClean Ion Source

The pressure to save money is everywhere these days. The changes due to COVID-19 have only exacerbated the age-old question your own lab has probably asked: how can we cut costs? One hidden expense in a GC-MS lab setting is the cost of cleaning your instrument’s ion source.

A fouled ion source can cause all manner of problems in accuracy of results and system stability. Diagnosing and resolving these issues can take time and resources away from your busy lab schedule. Many ion sources require complete removal and disassembly before they can be cleaned, which means they have to be reassembled and re-installed and then tested before your lab’s regular schedule can resume.

Routine and scheduled preventative cleanings can keep ion source fouling from contaminating results, but they still require instrument downtime to remove and disassemble the ion source. How frequently does your lab clean the ion source? One time a year? Four?

You can figure out how much cleaning an ion source costs your lab by dividing the downtime by the number of samples you could have run. A source cleaning could cost a lab, on average, somewhere around $2,600. Multiply that by four cleanings a year, and that’s over $10,000 spent just on the time it takes to clean your ion source.

Of course, not cleaning your ion source is not the answer…Unless it’s designed to clean itself.

Cutaway Illustration of StayClean ion source

LECO’s StayClean® ion source comes standard on every Pegasus® BT GC-TOFMS and GCxGC-TOFMS system. This ion source flushes neutrals and other contaminants out of the flight path and virtually never needs to be removed or cleaned. The only maintenance required is the occasional changing of the easily accessible filaments.

Read more about the StayClean® ion source in our application note and see how never cleaning your source again is more than wishful thinking. What could your lab do with an extra $10,000 a year?