Mass Spectrometry for Life Safety Systems (LSS)

Mark Sherrett

There are a wide variety of chemicals used in the fab that are potentially dangerous if exposed to people, including toxics, corrosives, flammables, pyrophorics and energetics. Life safety systems in a fab are critical to detect chemical leaks at the earliest stage possible by detecting at TLV levels and below, with accuracy of location and chemical.

A typical TGMS system must use a variety of technologies like FTIR, colorimetric paper tape, and electrochemical sensors to achieve these goals. However, some chemicals cannot be detected at TLV levels, or may take several minutes of exposure before detection is achieved despite utilizing these different technologies. Mass Spectrometry (MS) is an analytical technology that can detect and identify every chemical, while also simultaneously analyzing more than one gas present in a sample. In addition, MS technology can detect chemicals in air from ppt/ppb levels to 100% v/v. This proven technology is derived from extensive usage in the chemical manufacturing and research segment, with over 35 years in industrial and research lab applications. KFPI uses this technology in our lab for testing of new chemicals as they are introduced into the industry. This helps customers determine how to effectively detect these new chemicals. These sophisticated chemistries used today are often both complex and unstable upon contact with air. Mass Spectrometry is a technology that can detect these chemistries either directly or through their reaction biproducts.

This presentation will show comparisons of the various technologies and potential advantages a technology such as MS provides.

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